Affect Theory for Political Theology

While the difficulty in neatly defining the field itself verges on notoriety, the pieces in this series offer accounts of affect’s appearances and tangible effects, and illustrate the value of thinking political theology in relationship to emotions, bodies and the non-linguistic .

I’m excited to introduce a symposium that I’ve long looked forward to publishing on the relevance and potential applications of affect theory for political theology. While the difficulty in neatly defining the field itself verges on notoriety, the pieces in this series offer accounts of affect’s appearances and tangible effects, and illustrate the value of thinking political theology in relationship to emotions, bodies and the non-linguistic . Donovan Schaefer’s “The Face of the Sovereign” offers a nuanced and timely consideration of contemporary politics as embodied. In “URGENCY: On Teaching in Crisis”, Maia Kotrosits reflects on affect in the politically-charged landscape of the religious studies classroom. Rounding out the symposium is Ajay Singh Chaudhary’s “Subjectivity, Affect, and Exhaustion: The Political Theology of the Anthropocene”, in which he argues for the notion of ‘the exhausted’ as an affectively-understood political subject.

Symposium Essays

Donovan O. Schaefer

The Face of the Sovereign

Why does Trump’s face matter? Why does Trump—a world-class performer and master of the craft of showmanship—practice shaping his face? What does his face do? Is Trump’s face part of his power?

Maia Kotrosits

URGENCY: On Teaching in Crisis

What does thinking about affect mean for the politics of the religious studies classroom?

Subjectivity, Affect, and Exhaustion

…placing the feeling of exhaustion as the central organizing principle hails a subject as experienced and expressed through divisions and differences

Coming