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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
Mid-Century Catholic Social Teaching and Keynesianism

Carl Raschke argues that, given the ongoing debt crisis, political theology must more adequately grapple with economics, and in particular Keynesianism. The tradition of Catholic social teaching, particularly in the period of Popes John XXIII and Paul VI, already provides an example of a political theological response to Keynesianism, and, in both what it gets right and what it gets wrong, can serve as a resource to political theologians today.

The reader of the first three volumes of Agamben’s Homo Sacer series—the eponymous first volume, State of Exception, and Remnants of Auschwitz—could be forgiven for being skeptical. Though Agamben’s meditations on the question of sovereignty had an immediate purchase during the dark days of the Bush Administration, it could sometimes seem that he was guilty of stretching the concepts of the sovereign exception and bare life to the breaking point, forcing them to take on an explanatory burden they could not really bear. One could concede that when pushed to a certain extreme, the Western theologico-political machine breaks down into the confrontation of sovereign power and bare life, and perhaps even that the Western machine operates within the tension between the two—yet there is so much going on in that “between” that it seems impossible that it can all be accounted for in Agamben’s terms…