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Ward Blanton


For a New Theologico-Political Bestiary (or, What Our Unseen Monsters Have to Do With Our Momentary Gods)

Critchley’s new cookbook for experimentation with quasi-, proto-, or post- political forms of association is compelling, often beautiful. Indeed, one cannot help but be struck by the way such good writing, such clear formulations, of our contemporary political scene have emerged under the rubric of the theologico-political (assuming here that alongside Critchley’s book we could also name Paul Kahn’s Political Theology, Giorgio Agamben’s Power and the Glory, and Eric Santner’s Royal Remains, all important figures in my little pantheon of ‘where we are today’). And while this clustering of such forceful cultural diagnoses under the aegis of political theology for me still feels surprising, maybe this surprise is just the point, an indication of a form of sensibility that has not yet become common, tired, worn out. In any case, this is a surprise worth reflecting on in the sense that we could wonder aloud about why it is that– at this particular moment in time– an attention to the theologico-political seems to focus very directly and illuminatingly on those contemporary paradoxes, deadlocks, or experiences of what Boris Groys explores so provocatively in his Communist Postscript as being oddly “stuck” in and with the problem of the common and the shareable.