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Around the Network, Pedagogy

Political Theology: The Bibliography Project

Political Theology Today has an ongoing, collaborative bibliography project where we collect new and classic texts in Political Theology as a resource for teachers, scholars, and practitioners in the field. If you would like to recommend a new or classic text to be included in this bibliography please add it in the comments

The phrase “political theology” is used in several distinct contexts, though these contexts share a set of intellectual concerns. Carl Schmitt first popularized the phrase which was then taken up by German Protestant and Catholic theologians in the 1960s and 1970s. A set of German Jewish figures also engaged Schmitt’s work directly or indirectly. More recently, political theology has attracted the attention of French and Italian philosophers, Anglophone Christian theologians, secular political theorists, and scholars of literature. There are numerous new introductions and anthologies that have been published over the past decade.

Classic Texts

Carl Schmitt, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty (Chicago, 2004 [1922])

Carl Schmitt, Political Theology II: The Myth of the Closure of Any Political Theology (Polity, 2008 [1970])

Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political (Chicago, 2006 [1927])

Political Theology in Mid-Twentieth Century German Theology

Erik Peterson, Theological Tractates (Stanford, 2011)

Jurgen Moltmann, A Theology of Hope: On the Ground and the Implications of a Christian Eschatology (Harper & Row, 1967)

Jurgen Moltmann, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology (Harper & Row, 1974)

Johann Maptist Metz, Faith in History and Society: Toward a Practical Fundamental Theology (New York: Seabury, 1980)

Dorothee Soelle, Political Theology (Fortress, 1974)

Political Theology in German Jewish Thought

Jacob Taubes, The Political Theology of Paul (Stanford, 2004 [1993])

Jacob Taubes, Occidental Eschatology (Stanford, 2009 [1947]

Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History (Chicago, 1950)

Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope (MIT, 1986 [1959])

Walter Benjamin, “Theologico-Political Fragment” (1919)

Walter Benjamin, “Critique of Violence” (1921)

Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought (Penguin, 1954)

Political Theology in Continental Philosophy

Claude Lefort, “The Permanence of the Theologico-Political?” (1981)

Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Stanford, 1998 [1995])

Jacques Derrida, Rogues: Two Essays on Reason (Stanford, 2005 [2003])

Jacques Derrida, The Beast & the Sovereign (Chicago, 2009 [2005])

Slavoj Zizek, The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity (MIT, 2003)

Jean-Luc Nancy, Dis-Enclosure: The Deconstruction of Christianity (Fordham, 2008 [2005])

Roberto Esposito, Two: The Machine of Political Theology and the Place of Thought (Fordham, 2015 [2013])

Political Theology in Contemporary Anglophone Christian Theology

John Milbank, The Future of Love: Essays in Political Theology (Cascade, 2009)

Charles Mathewes, A Theology of Public Life (Cambridge, 2007)

William Cavanaugh, Theopolitical Imagination: Christian Practices of Space and Time (T&T Clark, 2002)

Nicholas Wolterstorff, The Might and the Almighty: An Essay in Political Theology (Cambridge, 2012)

Timothy P. Jackson, Political Agape: Christian Love and Liberal Democracy (Eerdmans, 2015)

Oliver O’Donovan, The Desire of the Nations: Rediscovering the Roots of Political Theology (Cambridge, 1999)

Intellectual History of Political Theology

Ernst Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, 1957)

Hans Blumenberg, The Legitimacy of the Modern Age (MIT, 1983 [1966])

Emilio Gentile, Politics as Religion (Princeton, 2006 [2001])

Marcel Gauchet, The Disenchantment of the World (Princeton, 1997 [1985])

Samuel Moyn, Christian Human Rights (Penn, 2015)

Graham Hamill and Julia Reinhard Lupton, eds., Political Theology and Early Modernity (Chicago, 2012)

Heinrich Meier, The Lesson of Carl Schmitt: Four Chapters on the Distinction between Political Theology and Political Philosophy (Chicago, 2011)

Political Theology and Cultural Studies

Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account (Oxford, 2008)

Erin Runions, The Babylon Complex: Theopolitical Fantasies of War, Sex, and Sovereignty (Fordham, 2014)

Vincent Lloyd, ed., Race and Political Theology (Stanford, 2012)

Ted A. Smith, Weird John Brown: Divine Violence and the Limits of Ethics (Stanford, 2015)

Victoria Kahn, The Future of Illusion: Political Theology and Early Modern Texts (Chicago, 2014)

Julia Lupton, Citizen-Saints: Shakespeare and Political Theology (Chicago, 2005)

Graham Hammill, The Mosaic Constitution: Political Theology and Imagination from Machiavelli to Milton (Chicago, 2012)

Peter Scott, A Political Theology of Nature (Cambridge, 2003)

Political Theology beyond the Christian West

Aristotle Papanikolaou, The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy (Notre Dame, 2012)

Randi Rashkover and Martin Kavka, eds., Judaism, Liberalism, and Political Theology (Indiana

David Nirenberg, “‘Judaism’ as Political Concept: Toward a Critique of Political Theology,” Representations 128:1 (Fall 2014)

Andrew F. March, “Genealogies of Sovereignty in Islamic Political Theology,” Social Research 80:1 (Spring 2013)

Simon Critchley, The Faith of the Faithless: Experiments in Political Theology (Verso, 2012)

Miguel A. De La Torre, The Politics of Jesus: A Hispanic Political Theology (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015)

George E. Tinker, Spirit and Resistance: Political Theology and American Indian Liberation (Fortress, 2004)

Emmanuel Katongole, The Sacrifice of Africa: A Political Theology for Africa (Eerdmans, 2010)

Political Theology and Political Theory

Paul Kahn, Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty (Columbia, 2012)

Bonnie Honig, Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy (Princeton, 2011)

Robert Meister, After Evil: A Politics of Human Rights (Columbia, 2011)

James Martel, Divine Violence: Walter Benjamin and the Eschatology of Sovereignty (Routledge, 2012)

Eric Santner, The Royal Remains: The People’s Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty (Chicago, 2011)

Slavoj Zizek, Eric Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard, The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology (Chicago, 2006)

Anthologies and Introductions

Craig Hovey and Elizabeth Phillips, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Christian Political Theology (Cambridge, 2016)

Michael Kirwan, Political Theology: An Introduction (Fortress, 2009).

Francis Schussler Fiorenza, Klaus Tanner, and Michael Welker, eds., Political Theology: Contemporary Challenges and Future Directions (Westminster John Knox, 2013)

Elizabeth Phillips, Political Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed (Bloomsbury, 2012)

William Cavanaugh, Jeffrey Bailey, and Craig Hovey, eds., An Eerdmans Reader in Contemporary Political Theology (Eerdmans, 2011).

Michael Jon Kessler, ed., Political Theology for a Plural Age (Oxford, 2013)

Peter Scott and William Cavanaugh, eds., The Blackwell Companion to Political Theology (Blackwell, 2006)

Oliver O’Donovan and Joan Lockwood O’Donovan, eds., From Irenaeus to Grotius: A Sourcebook in Christian Political Thought (Eerdmans, 1999)

Alistair Kee, ed., A Reader in Political Theology (Westminster, 1974)

Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan, eds. Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World (Fordham, 2006)

Creston Davis, John Milbank and Slavoj Zizek, eds. Theology and the Political: The New Debate (Duke, 2005)

Journal Special Issues

Richard J. Bernstein, ed., Political Theology?, Special Issue of Social Research 801:1 (Spring 2013)

Nitzan Lebovic, ed., Political Theology, Special Issue of New German Critique 105 (Fall 2008)

Jeffrey S. Librett, ed., Political Theology: The Border in Question, Special Issue of Konturen 1 (2008).

The Journal: Political Theology (currently in volume 17, published 6 times a year by Taylor & Francis)

4 thoughts on “Political Theology: The Bibliography Project

  1. Jeffrey W Robbins, Radical Democracy and Political Theology.

    Clayton Crockett, Rqdical Political Theology.

    Crockett and Robbins, Religion, Politics, and the Earth.

  2. Can’t see Michael Northcott’s A Political Theology of Climate Change (Eerdmans, 2013). Very important work.

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