The idea of the modern secular presupposes the existence of a holistic premodern world in which the amorphous phenomenon of religion penetrated all realms of life. But the existence of an Islamic distinction between the religious and non-religious domains suggests otherwise: not a latent secularity, but rather a difference of an altogether different kind. But if it is not equivalent to the “secular,” then what is it?
How is the term “political theology” used today, and how does it add to our understandings of theology and politics?
While Carl Schmitt claims that the enemy constitutes “the political,” his various writings largely ignore the historical and discursive evolution of the enemy. Anidjar’s major contribution to modern political theology lies in responding to this lacuna.
In the academic setting of Religious Studies, developing curricular spaces in which to thematize the relationship of religion and politics is a highly effective way both to engage undergraduate students, and to tap into and develop the research interests of graduate students. Over the past several years, I have developed courses at both levels in this area.