Political Theology

This will be the reading for Saturday, January 16.  We will meet at 4:30 here, and a printable copy is here.

Political Theology was published in 1922, just before the Weimar Republic began its decade-long descent into madness.  The book consists of four related essays, though we will focus on the first three.  The first chapter, “Definition of Sovereignty”, argues that sovereignty, the highest power in a political system, is defined as the ability to decide on an exception; that is, to decide when the rules no longer apply.  The second, “The Problem of Sovereignty”, is a criticism of (mostly Neo-Kantian) attempts to describe a state founded entirely on rule-based procedures.  Finally, “Political Theology” argues that political concepts are secularized theological concepts, and that a given time’s or culture’s theory of the state tracks with its theology.

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