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Abstract XXIII by Nikos Mouras CC BY-NC 2.0   
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Political Theology, Volume 24, Issue 3

Now available on Taylor & Francis Online here.


Excluding from Humanity: Through United Bears to the Palestinian Talmud Today, Sergey Dolgopolski

Pages: 245-260  | DOI: 10.1080/1462317X.2020.1855844

This essay articulates a structural feature and difficulty in the notion of universal humanism: the mechanism of inner exclusion. First, by discussing the historical paradigm of membership in “Israel,” a conceptual–theoretical description of inner exclusion comes into view. There then follows a comparative analysis of inner exclusions in three discourses: schematic universal humanism, exemplified in the art installation United Bears, Kant’s universal experience of sublime, and the Palestinian Talmud (PT) approach to the divine law. The PT model suspends the impulses of the universalization, let alone the unification of law. This suspension is excluded from within in Kant’s universalism of a fully citable law. The applied result of this essay is that historical inclusion of the Jews in universal humanity ignores the conditions that enabled their exclusion from humanity in the first place.

On the Ethics of Disagreements (Uṣūl al-Ikhtilaf) and the Ethics of Hospitality (Uṣūl al-Dhiyafa) Between Spiritual and non-Spiritual Leftists in the Newest Social Movements, Mohamed Abdou

Pages: 261-282 | DOI: 10.1080/1462317X.2020.1855844

Though Muslim-anarchists are active participants within “newest social movements” (NSMs) in settler-colonial societies as the US/Canada, as well as transnationally, little has been written on their maturing as a critical mass, or their ostracization within predominantly white anarchist scenes in North America. Anarcha-Islam, an example of ‘non-Western anarchism,’ fills this gap by re-imagining how the Holy Qurʾān and the Sunnah through the aḥadīth — the Prophetic practice and oral tradition — could be used to flesh out the theology, politics, and philosophy of an Islamic anarchism. I explore the possibilities of a new transnational politics grounded in an ethics of disagreement, friendship, and hospitality between these traditions. I suggest uṣūl al-dhiyafa and uṣūl al-ikhtilaf (a politics of friendship and an ethics of hospitality as well as an ethics of disagreements) in facilitating an appreciation of the similarities that bring these traditions together, while also valuing the differences that drive them apart.

Know Thyself, Dissect Thyself: A Genealogy of Neuroscience’s Pastoral Power through Anatomical Dissection and Illustration, Kimbell Kornu

Pages: 283-301| DOI: 10.1080/1462317X.2020.1855844

Coupling “know thyself” with anatomical illustrations produced a spatialized understanding of the self, providing preconditions for “brainhood,” the view that “we are our brains.” To picture oneself, whether in anatomical illustrations or neuroimaging, is to know thyself. This paper traces the historical development of the conflation of self-image and self-knowledge. First, I explore the Renaissance development of linear perspective. Second, I look at how the soul becomes spatialized in psychology as a science of the soul and its relationship to anatomical dissection. Third, I investigate the innovation of anatomical illustration and how it intersects with Renaissance visual culture. Finally, I show how these varied developments manifest “know thyself” in anatomical illustrations and its significance for how we see ourselves. I conclude that, according to the ideology of the neuro, we still “know thyself” through pictures of the body, but with neuroimaging as the new anatomical illustration.

Political Theology in Iran: Critiques of the Guardianship of Jurist in Light of Reformist Iranian Scholarship, Ali Akbar

Pages: 302-320| DOI: 10.1080/1462317X.2020.1855844

This article examines a specific line of thinking shared by several contemporary Iranian reformist scholars which emerged partly in response to the doctrine of velāyat-e faqīh, a political-theological theory instigated by Ayatollah Khomeini. Focusing on the ideas of reformist Iranian scholars, such as Abdolkarim Soroush, Muhammad Mujtahed Shabestari, Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari, Mohsen Kadivar and Ahmad Qabel, unpacks these thinkers’ views concerning the doctrine of velāyat-e faqīh. It is argued that these scholars’ criticisms of the doctrine of velāyat-e faqīh are based not only on their interpretations of the Qurʾān and Shiʿa sources, but also philosophical arguments in which notions drawn from the field of hermeneutics are employed. It is also argued that, in challenging the doctrine of velāyat-e faqīh, these scholars question the view that the fuqahā have the exclusive right to rule the country, thereby presenting alternative political theories which criticize efforts to politicize religion.

Hearing Nothing: A More Than Human Silence, Beatrice Marovich

Pages: 321-337| DOI: 10.1080/1462317X.2022.2035957

This essay reflects on the more than human dimensions of silence; how silence is both more animal, and more divine, than the metaphysical figure of Man. But it also explores, with philosopher Adriana Cavarero, how silence (under the influence of western metaphysics) also becomes a matter of pure spirit that mutes the laughing, crying, screaming works of flesh. In order to listen more attentively to what the more than human registers of silence have to say, this essay creates an occasion to wander into the theologically inflected work of Simone Weil. In Weil’s description of a sounding silence (filled with the inaudible sonic life of embodied creatures), the essay argues, we find a political theology of silence; a more than human form of attention that is enacted or embodied in a ritual and conceptual space marked by a charged and potent awareness of divine absence.

Book Discussion:

Post-Secular History: Political Theology and the Politics of Time Maxwell Kennel

Postsecular Entanglement, Jennifer Otto

Pages: 338-341 | DOI: 10.1080/1462317X.2022.2152610

Postsecular History or Figural Messianism? Travis Kroeker

Pages: 342-346  | DOI: 10.1080/1462317X.2022.2152611

Time Immemorial, Here and Now, Pamela E. Klassen

Pages: 347-350  | DOI: 10.1080/1462317X.2022.2152612

Beyond the Postsecular? Maxwell Kennel

Pages: 351-358  | DOI: 10.1080/1462317X.2022.2152613

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