Political Theology II: The Myth of the Closure of any Political Theology / Edition 1

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Political Theology II is Carl Schmitt's last book. Part polemic, part self-vindication for his involvement in the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), this is Schmitt's most theological reflection on Christianity and its concept of sovereignty following the Second Vatican Council. At a time of increasing visibility of religion in public debates and a realization that Schmitt is the major and most controversial political theorist of the twentieth century, this last book sets a new agenda for political theology today. The crisis at the beginning of the twenty-first century led to an increased interest in the study of crises in an age of extremes - an age upon which Carl Schmitt left his indelible watermark. In Political Theology II, first published in 1970, a long journey comes to an end which began in 1923 with Political Theology. This translation makes available for the first time to the English-speaking world Schmitt's understanding of Political Theology and what it implies theologically and politically.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Why study Schmitt? Like the great thinkers of all ages, headdressed issues that transcend the moment. Political philosophersand political theorists, constitutional lawyers and legaltheorists, international relations theorists ideologues of allcolors find answers to burning political questions that revolvearound the concept of sovereignty.”
George Schwab, National Committee on American Foreign Policyand The City University of New York (City College and GraduateCenter)

“The publication in English of Carl Schmitt’sPolitical Theology II constitutes an important event in theAnglo-American reception of Schmitt’s thought. In the late1960s, as the Roman Catholic Church reconciled itself with secularmodernity and West Germany’s liberal democracy resorted toextra-legal measures in the midst of political crisis, Schmittdecided to revisit the questions that motivated his thinking in theearly Weimar Republic: can morality only find justification intranscendental theological sources and must political authorityrest ultimately with an extraordinary sovereign authority? Obviously, these questions still haunt our world as we move furtherinto the 21st century.”
John P. McCormick, University of Chicago

“Every student of Schmitt will need to probe his post-1945writings and will be fascinated by this superb new translationwhich brings out Schmitt’s self-imposed continued wrestling,despite opposition, with the relation between the political andtheological realms. The Introduction gives a full account of whythis thoroughly disturbing thinker continues to mean so much toboth Right and Left.”
Jeremy Tambling, The University of Manchester

"The importance of this text lies not simply in the argumentsherein, important as they are, but especially as an additionalmeans of situating some of the central concerns that continuouslyprovoked Schmitt's writings."
Polticial Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745642536
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/30/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Translated by Michael Hoelzl and Graham Ward

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Table of Contents

Editors’ Introduction.

Notes on the Translation.

Guideline for the reader.


I. The Myth of the Ultimate Theological Closure.

1. The Content of the Myth.

2. Hans Barion’s Critique of Political Theology.

3. The Contemporary Significance of the Myth of Closure.

(Hans Maier – Ernst Feil – Ernst Topitsch).

II. The Legendary Document.

1. The Genesis and the Historical limits of the Matter.

2. Politico-theological Interpolation: le roi règne il negouverne pas.

3. The Limits of the Matter and Question from the PoliticalSide: Monarchy.

4. The Limits of the Matter and Question from the TheologicalSide: Monotheism.

5. Eusebius as the Prototype for Political Theology.

6. The Confrontation between Eusebius and Augustine.

III. The Legendary Conclusion.

1. The Claims of the Conclusion.

2. The Assertive Power of the Conclusion.

Postscript. On the Current Situation of the Problem: TheLegitimacy of Modernity.

Appendix: ‘Peterson’s conclusion and concludingfootnote.’.


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