Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World / Edition 3

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What has happened to religion in its present manifestations? In recent years, Enlightenment secularization, as it appeared in the global spread of political structures that relegate the sacred to a private sphere, seems suddenly to have foundered. Unexpectedly, it has discovered its own parochialism—has discovered, indeed, that secularization may never have taken place at all.With the “return of the religious,” in all aspects of contemporary social, political, and religious life, the question of political theology—of the relation between “political” and “religious” domains—takes on new meaning and new urgency. In this groundbreaking book, distinguished scholars from many disciplines—philosophy, political theory, anthropology, classics, and religious studies—seek to take the full measure of this question in today’s world. This book begins with the place of the gods in the Greek polis, then moves through Augustine’s two cities and early modern religious debates, to classic statements about political theology by such thinkers as Walter Benjamin and Carl Schmitt. Essays also consider the centrality of tolerance to liberal democracy, the recent French controversy over wearing the Muslim headscarf, and “Bush’s God talk.” The volume includes a historic discussion between Jürgen Habermas and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, concerning the prepolitical moral foundations of a republic, and it concludes with explorations of new, more open ways of conceptualizing society.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A major lankmark in interdisciplinary studies of religion's function in the public sphere, Political Theologies in now the standard reference in this field that dates back to the second century B.C. but has returned with special urgency in the past decade."—Christianity and Literature

"This book...will become increasingly important for the future of pentecostal studies."—Amos Yong, Pneuma

". . . Smart and eclectic . . ."—Journal of Church and State

"This splendid volume will be essential reading for anyone who wants to explore the whole terrain of contemporary 'political theologies' through which this question is addressed."—Faith and Theology

". . . the papers vary widely in terms of topic and approach. They are concerned with defining political theologies, exploring pluralism and agonistic reason, and analyzing issues of secularism and democratic republicanism. "—Book News

"There is no more important topic today than the role of religion in public life. It is vital in both peace and war, debate and consensus, democracy and repression, nationalism and transnational humanitarian action. For anyone wishing to survey the range of theoretical perspectives on this theme, this collection by Hent de Vries and Lawrence Sullivan is indispensable. It offers the single best assemblage of sources for understanding not only political theologies, but issues of pluralism, secularism, and contending ideas of the human that they raise."—Craig Calhoun, Social Science Reasearch Council

"Political Theologies is an outstanding collection of creative essays on the cutting edge of political theology. The essays bring new and original perspectives that change the terrain and make this volume an indispensable benchmark for future discussions. It is a 'must read' and an invaluable resource for both religious and theological studies. Anyone interested in political theology will be rewarded by its rich diversity. I highly recommend it."—Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, Stillman Professor, Harvard Divinity School

"The wholly unanticipated reemergence of religion into the realm of politics and public policy, which is happening all over the world, is puzzling and worrisome to some people. Many explanations for this surprising development have been advanced, none fully satisfactory. Now this volume brings together some of the keenest and best-informed analysis yet available, from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. It sets a new gold standard for future attempts to understand the growing role of religion in the twenty-first century."—Harvey Cox, Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard University

"Viewed from any angle, political theology is rough terrain. Numerous divergent efforts to dissociate, calibrate, and realign the domains of the political and the religious have constituted a major preoccupation of the so-called West and its intellectual tradition. The relentless assertion-and immersion-of this tradition in today's globalized world means that it is inevitably engaged and entangled with the condition of the world at its most volatile and consequential. All the more reason to view it from every angle. This voluminous collection is not ultimately motivated by a desire to amass and to represent; instead, it is driven by a passionate spirit that is at once bold, generous, and unnerving."—Tomoko Masuzawa, University of Michigan

"Capacious, adventurous, and thorough, this collection of essays addresses the most significant and recalcitrant issues facing the modern world. . . . One reads it with a sense of desperation, for the urgency of the questions is profound, and one comes away from reading with a sense not of relief or gratitude, but of provocation and of possibility."—Rosalind Carmel Morris, Columbia University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823226443
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2006
  • Edition description: 3
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 800
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

HENT DE VRIES is Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at The Johns Hopkins Universityand Professor of Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. He is the editor, with Lawrence E. Sullivan, of Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World (Fordham). Lawrence E. Sullivan is Professor of World Religions at the University of Notre Dame. The author of Icanchu's Drum: An Orientation to Meaning in South American Religions, he was director of Harvard University's Center for the Study of World Religions, and served as President of the American Academy of Religions (AAR).

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Table of Contents

Preface   Hent de Vries   Lawrence E. Sullivan     ix
Introduction: Before, Around, and Beyond the Theologico-Political   Hent de Vries     1
What Are Political Theologies?
The Gods of Politics in Early Greek Cities   Marcel Detienne     91
Church, State, Resistance   Jean-Luc Nancy     102
Politics and Finitude: The Temporal Status of Augustine's: Civitas Permixta   M. B. Pranger     113
The Scandal of Religion: Luther and Public Speech in the Reformation   Antonia Szabari     122
On the Names of God   Ernesto Laclau     137
The Permanence of the Theologico-Political?   Claude Lefort     148
Violence in the State of Exception: Reflections on Theologico-Political Motifs in Benjamin and Schmitt   Marc de Wilde     188
Critique, Coercion, and Sacred Life in Benjamin's "Critique of Violence"   Judith Butler     201
From Rosenzweig to Levinas: Philosophy of War   Stephane Moses     220
Levinas, Spinoza, and the Theologico-Political Meaning of Scripture   Hent de Vries     232
Beyond Tolerance: Pluralism and Agonistic Reason
On the Relations Between the Secular Liberal State and Religion   Jurgen Habermas     251
Prepolitical Moral Foundations of a Free Republic   Pope Benedict XVI     261
Bush's God Talk   Bruce Lincoln     269
Pluralism and Faith   William E. Connolly     278
Subjects of Tolerance: Why We Are Civilized and They Are the Barbarians   Wendy Brown     298
Religion, Liberal Democracy, and Citizenship   Chantal Mouffe     318
Toleration Without Tolerance: Enlightenment and the Image of Reason   Lars Tonder     327
Saint John: The Miracle of Secular Reason   Matthew Scherer     341
Democratic Republicanism, Secularism, and Beyond
Reinhabiting Civil Disobedience   Bhrigupati Singh     365
Rogue Democracy and the Hidden God   Samuel Weber     382
Intimate Publicities: Retreating the Theologico-Political in the Chavez Regime?   Rafael Sanchez     401
The Figure of the Abducted Woman: The Citizen as Sexed   Veena Das     427
How to Recognize a Moslem When You See One: Western Secularism and the Politics of Conversion   Markha G. Valenta     444
Laicite, or the Politics of Republican Secularism   Yolande Jansen     475
Trying to Understand French Secularism   Talal Asad     494
Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh, and the Politics of Tolerance in the Netherlands   Peter Van Der Veer     527
Can a Minority Retain Its Identity in Law? The 2005 Multatuli Lecture   Job Cohen     539
Prophetic Justice in a Home Haunted by Strangers: Transgressive Solidarity and Trauma in the Work of an Israeli Rabbis' Group   Bettina Prato     557
Opening Societies and the Rights of the Human
Mysticism and the Foundation of the Open Society: Bergsonian Politics   Paola Marrati     591
The Agency of Assemblages and the North American Blackout   Jane Bennett     602
Automatic Theologies: Surrealism and the Politics of Equality   Kate Khatib     617
Theoscopy: Transparency, Omnipotence, and Modernity   Stefanos Geroulanos     633
Come On, Humans, One More Effort if You Want to Be Post-Christians!   Thierry de Duve     652
The Right Not to Use Rights: Human Rights and the Structure of Judgments   Werner Hamacher     671
Contributors     691
Notes     697
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