The Mystery of Evil: Benedict XVI and the End of Days

The Mystery of Evil: Benedict XVI and the End of Days


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In 2013, Benedict XVI became only the second pope in the history of the Catholic Church to resign from office. In this brief but illuminating study, Giorgio Agamben argues that Benedict's gesture, far from being solely a matter of internal ecclesiastical politics, is exemplary in an age when the question of legitimacy has been virtually left aside in favor of a narrow focus on legality. This reflection on the recent history of the Church opens out into an analysis of one of the earliest documents of Christianity: the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, which stages a dramatic confrontation between the "man of lawlessness" and the enigmatic katechon , the power that holds back the end of days. In Agamben's hands, this infamously obscure passage reveals the theological dynamics of history that continue to inform Western culture to this day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503602731
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 05/23/2017
Series: Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics Series
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 4.40(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Giorgio Agamben is a contemporary Italian philosopher and political theorist whose works have been translated into numerous languages. His most recent title with Stanford University Press is The Fire and the Tale (2017).

Table of Contents

Translator's Note ix

Prefatory Note xi

I The Mystery of the Church 1

II Mysterium iniquitatis: History as Mystery 19

Appendix 40

Declaration of Celestine V 40

Declaration of Benedict XVI 42

Tyconius, Liber regularum 46

II The Lord's Bipartite Body 46

VII The Devil and His Body (Excerpt) 52

Augustine, City of God, Book XX, Chapter 19 59

Bibliography 67

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