Political Theology Today A Forum for inter-disciplinary and inter-religious dialogue among clergy, scholars, students, and activists

All posts tagged Democracy

university of toronto

The Political Theology Syllabi Project: Ruth Marshall

I first taught this graduate seminar in 2008 as a “Topics in Political Thought” course, and called it “Political Theologies” – a political theory seminar, cross-listed with Study of Religion. Part of the motivation for teaching it was finding a set of themes and readings that would work well in a cross disciplinary way, as I’m jointly appointed to both Political Science and Study of Religion.

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Book Forged in Hell

Book Preview – A Book Forged in Hell by Steven Nadler

Writing in May, 1670, the German theologian Jacob Thomasius fulminated against a recent, anonymously published book. It is, he claimed, “a godless document” that should be immediately banned in all countries. His Dutch colleague, Regnier Mansveld, a professor at the University of Utrecht, insisted that the new publication was harmful to all religions and “ought to be buried forever in an eternal oblivion.” Willem van Blijenburgh, a philosophically inclined Dutch merchant, wrote that “this atheistic book is full of abominations … which every reasonable person should find abhorrent.” One disturbed critic went so far as to call it “a book forged in hell”, written by the devil himself.

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nonviolence

The Impossible Becoming Possible: Nonviolence and Democracy (by Jonathan McRay)

Apparently, nonviolence and democracy are strongly connected. Recent research suggests that nonviolent resistance campaigns are much more likely than violent ones to pave the way for “democratic regimes.” . . . But what, in the world, is democracy? The term resides in a restless spectrum, so perhaps the adjective democratic should be employed more than the noun.

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theolegal

Theolegal Officials (by Nathan C. Walker)

The United States is comprised of a religiously diverse citizenry, which leaves officials to balance the tension upheld by a constitution that simultaneously prevents the establishment of a national creed and yet preserves one’s right to freedom of religion. In practice, officials in the United States cannot legislate theology, but they can, and do, use theology to legislate.

As a result, the United States is not a secular democracy where laws guarantee freedom from religion and dismiss theological rhetoric in the political process; neither is it a theocracy, where a single religion prescribes all laws. Whether we like it or not the United States is a theolegal democracy.

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Tahrir Square

Political Theology and Islamic Studies Symposium: Contemporary Islamism and the Sacralization of Democracy

I join this conversation as a student of comparative politics, writing a project that explores how islamiyun, often dubbed Islamists, imagine and enact democracy. Specifically, I use insights derived from ordinary language philosophy to apprehend insights from interviews and focus groups with over 100 interlocutors, gleaned in nearly two years of fieldwork in Morocco (2009-2011), to understand what democracy means to Moroccan islamiyun. I find that there are two broad usages of dimuqratiyyah [democracy] in the language and practices of Moroccan islamiyun.

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Luther, Lacan, and the Heart of Human Destiny – What Psychoanalysis Can Tell Us About Our Own Political Theology (A Review)

Herman Westerink. The Heart of Man’s Destiny: Lacanian Psychoanalysis and Early Reformation Thought. New York: Routledge, 2012. 161 pages. The question of the modern has always been a political one. We cannot understand its genesis, of course, apart from the revolution of the subject made possible by Descartes’ “hyperbolic doubt.” […]

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