Winnifred Fallers Sullivan’s new book, Church State Corporation provides an especially fitting occasion to showcase the variety of voices that populate and shape the field of political theology today. In the four essays that will follow my own in successive weeks, Yael Almog, Spencer Dew, Joshua Mauldin, and Méadhbh McIvor bring their distinctive perspectives as scholars trained in history, religious studies, Christian theology, and anthropology as well as their shared orientation as participants in the interdisciplinary field of political theology. (Three of the contributors are book review editors for the journal Political Theology, a cousin of this website.)
Online book discussions can have a centripetal force, beginning with professions of love and reinforcing shared understandings—turning critical engagement into “convenings.” In contrast, the essays that follow share the virtues characteristic of this website, the journal Political Theology, and the broader field (and Sullivan’s book). They are smart, careful, close engagements with a text, they draw on varied theoretical and methodological resources, they are animated by the spirits of charity and justice, and their authors’ voices come through as distinctive, maybe even a little quirky.