Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World

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9780823226450: Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World

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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About the Author:

Hent de Vries is Professor in the Humanities Center and the Department of Philosophy at the Johns Hopkins University, where he holds Russ Family Chair and serves as the Director of the Humanities Center. He is currently also a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and, from 2014 to 2018, he will serve as the next Director of the School of Criticism and Theory, at Cornell University. His principal publications include: Philosophy and the Turn to Religion (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999, 2000), Religion and Violence: Philosophical Perspectives from Kant to Derrida (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002, 2006), and Minimal Theologies: Critiques of Secular Reason in Theodor W. Adorno and Emmanuel Levinas (Johns Hopkins
University Press, 2005). He was the coeditor, with Samuel Weber, of Religion
and Media (Stanford University Press, 2001); the coeditor, with Lawrence Sullivan,
of Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post- Secular World (Fordham
University Press, 2006); and the coeditor, with Ward Blanton, of Paul and the
Phi los o phers (Fordham University Press, 2013). In addition, he was the General
Editor of the five- volume miniseries entitled The Future of the Religious Past, as
well as of its first title, Religion Beyond a Concept (Fordham University Press,
2008). Currently, he is completing two book- length studies, entitled Of Miracles,
Events, and Special Effects: Global Religion in an Age of New Media and Spiritual
Exercises: Concepts and Practices.



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).

Review:

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 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)

This book...will become increasingly important for the future of pentecostal studies. (―Amos Yong Pneuma)

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)

This volume makes a vital contribution to an academy increasingly focused on questions emerging from the interstices of political theory, philosophy, and the study of religion, and to a broader world struggling to understand and adapt to the changes that have come with globalization and revitalized religion. Each essay is grounded in first-rate scholarship, but none of them plays it safe. Whether offering incisive theoretical reflections on political theology or proposing startling analyses of the French veiling controversy, these essays will change the way we think about religion in a post-secular world. (―Tyler Roberts Grinnell College)

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 Research Council)

. . . Smart and eclectic . . . (―Journal of Church and State)

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)

If the idea of political theology seemed anachronistic to many liberal thinkers in the twentieth century, in the twenty-first century-and especially since September 11-it has become urgent and unavoidable, essential for making sense of our current global situation. Hent de Vries and Lawrence Sullivan's Political Theologies constitutes the single most important collection of essays to date on a topic that is at once classic and contemporary, foundational and aporetic. These essays approach the multiple intersections of the political and the theological in the ancient, modern, and 'post-secular' worlds as both positive, mutually reinforcing, and necessary relationships, and violent, contradictory, and even impossible encounters. De Vries's Introduction masterfully surveys the varieties of the political-theological conjunction and presents a powerful analysis of its immanent excesses and paradoxical reversals, its terrifying histories and its transformative, even redemptive potentiality. (―Kenneth Reinhard University of California, Los Angeles)

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 Jurgen 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780823226450

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Book Description Fordham University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-secular World, Hent de Vries, Lawrence E. Sullivan, 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 politicaland religiousdomains-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 Jrgen Habermas and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, concerningthe prepolitical moral foundations of a republic, and it concludes with explorations of new, more open ways of conceptualizing society. Bookseller Inventory # B9780823226450

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