I don’t have much to add on this syllabus for “Secularism and Political Theology“, except the following:
1) This may seem an odd pairing – Secularism and Political Theology – but in a way that I can’t quite articulate, they still seem to go well together, beyond being two important recent topics that weren’t yet covered by the course offerings in my department.
2) Mark Lilla’s book The Stillborn God is quite problematic and doesn’t reflect my own understandings of modernity and religion very well, but it is pitched at just the right level to introduce capable and reasonably industrious undergraduates to some of the key intellectual history that moves discourse in this area.
3) The collection Political Theologies, which also contains some material that is overly dense or just too long-winded, also contains a number of sharp case studies that seemed to work very well in this course.
Jonathan Boyarin is Mann Professor of Modern Jewish Studies and Professor of Anthropology at Cornell University. His recent publications include Jewish Families, The Unconverted Self: Jews, Indians, and the Identity of Christian Europe, and Time and Human Language Now (with Martin Land).