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Radical Democracy and Political Theology$
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Jeffrey Robbins

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156363

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156363.001.0001

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The Theopolitics of Democracy

The Theopolitics of Democracy

(p.155) Chapter Six The Theopolitics of Democracy
Radical Democracy and Political Theology

Jeffrey W. Robbins

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses how democracy indicates not only the divine right of kings but also the death of God as a transcendent authority dictating earthly human affairs. Humans are their own lords and masters, or at least, such is democracy's political aspiration and presumption. By contrasting the works of Nash and Hatch with that of Tocqueville, the chapter highlights the dialectical relationship they observe between democracy and religion: religion is democratized as it simultaneously becomes a force for democracy. Tocqueville's analysis implies a distinction between the civil religion and the theology of democracy, commending the one and recoiling from the other; while Nash and Hatch assert that no such distinction is possible.

Keywords:   democracy, divine right, transcendent God, Nash, Hatch, Tocqueville, civil religion, theology of democracy

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