Above and beyond the heartache that recent events in Iran engender among Muslims and people who are in solidarity with us, it harms what we truly and communally care about: finding creative ways to reassert who we are and what we stand for.
For me, “political theology” thus names the study of the ways that imagination is embedded in sentient, desiring bodies, instantiated in vernacular forms of life and ordinary (ritualized) practices, and conjured in mytho-poetic metaphors, images or representations that are formalized by literary genres and assembled into scriptures.
This essay reclaims the value and role of faith in Shulman’s political theology and shows why it is important for wrestling with our contemporary political realities.
In many ways, Bloch’s work inverts the classic dictum of political theology advanced by Carl Schmitt, that “all significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts.” For Bloch, theological concepts are intimations of the freedom of the secular and revolutionary socialist society.
As we are prepared to empty ourselves, we can experience “the beginning of the other”, the Reign of God.
In the interaction between God’s establishment of circumstances and our free response to them, we see something of the way that God enables us to be more human.
Habakkuk 2:4—’The righteous person will live by his faith’—is a familiar text. The recognition that the faith in question may be God’s own faithfulness, rather than our own stumbling faith, may inspire a stronger confidence in us as we face a world of injustice.