Category: Around the Network

The editors of Political Theology are pleased to announce that Vincent Lloyd of Syracuse University is the newest member of the journal’s editorial team. Lloyd agreed to join the team as one of the editors beginning November 1. He had been a frequent contributor to both the journal and a contributing editor to this blog. Below is a short bio as well as links to more about Lloyd’s research and his book, The Problem with Grace…

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Over the summer posts on this blog have discussed Giorgio Agamben’s The Kingdom and the Glory. Longer versions of some of these posts will be featured in an upcoming issue of the print version of Political Theology.

Here are links to each of the online contributions to the symposium: […]

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The purpose of this book is the clarification of the American mind, especially Evangelicals [….]

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As the golden calf gave the ancients a false sense of security, many twenty-first century Americans look for security in weapons. When our leaders are absent or fail us; when our God is invisible and from all appearances is absent from our lives; when we don’t know how we can keep going; when we are consumed by our fears and feel threatened by those who are not like us, those are the moments when new idols are imagined and fashioned and desperate people give them their ultimate concerns, devotion, and focused attention.

Around the Network, Justice
Around the Network

The Royal Remains is a culmination of years of reflection on the conditions of the emergence of modernity, the ways in which it has been underpinned by a pound of ‘spectral yet visceral’ flesh. The book presents a complex politico-theological and psychoanalytic narrative about how the demise of transcendence has left us with a ‘surplus of immanence,’ a bodily too-muchness, an errant fleshy excess that still defines our condition and haunts it. From Marat’s death to Rilke’s Malte, from Kafka’s “Country Doctor” to Foucault’s biopolitical body, I track the palpitations of this surplus and explore the possibilities of developing new ways of living with and through it.

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“The Practice of Prophetic Imagination” (Fortress, 2011).

This new book is for me a continuation of my earlier book, The Prophetic Imagination (Fortress, 1978). It is an attempt to think about “prophetic preaching” in the context of the US church where any prophetic dimension to evangelical faith is mostly unwelcome.

I have wanted at the outset to correct two most unfortunate caricatures of the prophetic. On the one hand, there is a conservative tradition that thinks that the prophets are primarily in the business of “predicting Christ.” Of course there is no such thing in this context. On the other hand, liberals regularly associate “the prophetic” with social justice and social action. But it strikes me how rarely the ancient prophets take up any specific issue of social justice.

Around the Network
Around the Network

We began work on this Reader with the realization that there was no recent collection of readings in contemporary political theology. Our moment is complex and difficult to come to grips with. It is characterized by God refusing to go away, with people of numerous faiths not taking the much-touted, purely secular politics lying down. Whether one sees this as a recent development (post-9/11, say) or the way things have always been depends largely on one’s perspective. Do the most pressing questions have to do with Christian theology’s inherent and ineradicable relevance to all things political (human well-being, the nature of power, and so on)? Or do they have to do with the reverse—the fundamentally theological nature of politics, even where religious questions have been thought most successfully to have been purged from it? It will take more than a reader to answer such questions, but collecting a wide variety of voices in one place can help us understand why we are now faced with them.

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During the past two decades, political liberalism has been put on trial. Political theorists indebted to Sheldon Wolin (William Connolly, Romand Coles, Bonnie Honig) have, in various ways, exposed liberalism’s tendency to conceal or downplay significant dimensions of political struggle. These authors indict liberalism for its narrow understanding of public reason, an understanding that underestimates qualities, practices and interactions within our lifeworlds that tend to thwart liberalism’s drive toward consensus and agreement (here I am thinking of clashing visions of the good life, memory of injustice, or the emergence of new movements that challenge our very notion of publicity and reason). This trend within political theory resembles developments in religious studies and theology. Recent discussions between Stanley Hauerwas, Jeff Stout, and Cornel West revolve around liberalism’s tendency to depoliticize religious commitments by relegating them to the private sphere. For these authors, this inclination overlooks the deep connections between democratic struggle and religious practice within American history. These authors remind us that democracy and faith are bedfellows (and not necessarily strange ones).

Jonathan Kahn and Vincent Lloyd, in recent blog posts here, attempt to move these discussions further and potentially in new directions…

Around the Network, Essays