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Category: History

Political theological discourse did not begin with Carl Schmitt. Rather, it has a long, plural, and unwieldy genealogy that includes sub-altern voices of dissent, multiple religious traditions, and abiding contestation. The goal is not to create a canon, but rather to explore this contested history and the many divergent perspectives that contribute to it.

Resources

Bibliography:

  1. Gayatri C. Spivak, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present (1999)
  2. Talal Asad, Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam (1993)
  3.  Cemil Aydin, The Idea of the Muslim World: A Global Intellectual History (2017)
  4. M. Herrero, J. Aurell, A. C. Miceli Stout (eds.), Political Theology in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Discourses, Rites, and Representations (2017)
  5. Sylvester Johnson, African American Religions, 1500-2000: Colonialism, Democracy, and Freedom (2015)
  6. Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial and Historical Difference (2008)

Relevant Journal Articles:

  • Maxwell Kennel, “Müntzer, Taubes, and the Anabaptists: Emancipatory History and Political Theology,” Political Theology 20, no. 3 (2019): 191-206
  • Jakub Urbaniak and Blazio M. Manobo, “Canaan Banana, Churches and the Land Issue: Revisiting Theology of Zimbabwe’s Vilified Prophet,” Political Theology 21, no. 3 (2020): 225-246
  • Marcia Pally, “Why is Populism Persuasive? Populism as Expression of Religio-Cultural History with the U.S. and U.S. Evangelicals as a Case Study,” Political Theology 21, no. 5 (2020): 393-414
Learning from Zora Neale Hurston

The best place to begin in bringing theology and anthropology closer together is with someone who did not write as if the two were separate, even opposed disciplines. Zora Neale Hurston carried out ethnographic fieldwork on behalf of Franz Boas, and yet, writing in multiple genres, articulated a theological vision that meshed the universal God with particular human experience: “Nothing that God ever made is the same thing to more than one person.”

From Disciplinary Transactions to Political Practice: Moving Past Theology and Anthropology “in General”

A common denominator among most scholarship on the relationship between theology and anthropology is lack of specificity around which and whose anthropology and theology we’re talking about. This overly generalized frame has privileged white, male, Eurocentric intellectual traditions and misses the generative possibilities of a more specific interdisciplinary exchange.

Immanent Singularity

This intervention invites to think active dis-imagination, in mystical and contemporary traditions, as a grounding political force.

The “Sigh of the Oppressed Creature” in-between Theology and Anthropology

Combinations of theology and anthropology have been criticized for losing track of what theology ought to be about. Yet this loss might be precisely what enables scholars to understand political practices which point towards that which escapes both the theological and the anthropological grasp—a pointer which could be crucial to fashion solidarities that connect faiths in the pursuit of justice.

A Redemptive Reading of Proverbs 31:10-31 in the Context of the Comfort Women

The survivors were oppressed and deprived of their freedom, dignity, identity, womanhood, and youth. However, they are now human rights movement activists, teachers, living testimony of the painful history, and much more.

The Banality of Oppression: Memory, Theology, and the Suffering of Chinese Comfort Women

Remembering a future that is habitable for humanity and receptive to justice requires remembering the inconvenient past that, when surfaced, can threaten the status quo.

Practices and Pluralism

Political theology needs to talk more about the role of religion in liberal democratic spaces such that those spaces are constituted as radically pluralistic.

Political Theology, Public Life, and Economic Structures

We are currently seeing folks pause to reflect both on what has historically counted as “political theology” and the ways in which those evaluate norms and frameworks need to shift moving forward.

Political Theology in the Absence of Authority

How might we think about political theology in the absence of conventional scriptural, interpretive or institutional authorities together with their conceptual worlds?

Law and Political Obligations

“What do I owe my fellow citizens whose conscience reaches different conclusions than my own?”

Political Theology and Political Crisis

It seems like an important task of political theology is to critically reflect on moments of political crisis by pulling back the veil on its latent theological content.

Interdisciplinary Entanglements

Queries on enfleshment, the nature of materiality and the corporeal intertwining with histories of coloniality and race relations cannot be separated from an understanding of political theology and its mobilization.