Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Adventures of the SymbolicPost-marxism and Radical Democracy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Warren Breckman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231143943

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231143943.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Democracy Between Disenchantment and Political Theology

Democracy Between Disenchantment and Political Theology

French Post-Marxism and the Return of Religion

(p.139) Chapter Four Democracy Between Disenchantment and Political Theology
Adventures of the Symbolic

Warren Breckman

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines Claude Lefort's rejection of the Marxist reduction of the political to the social in favor of the modern concept of the rights of man as the foundation of a radical democratic politics. In particular, it considers Lefort's idea of the symbolic dimension of the political and how it relates to an expansive conception of democracy as a social experience. Lefort praised democracy “not [for] what it does, but [for] what it causes to be done.” Entanglements of theology and politics in Lefort's thinking are explored in his 1981 essay “The Permanence of the Theologico-Political?” The chapter also considers the theologico-political problem in Lefort and Marcel Gauchet in light of the collapse of revolutionary politics in France and the accompanying reorientation of progressive French intellectuals. Finally, it discusses Gauchet's hypothesis that autonomy is to be explained through the process of leaving religion.

Keywords:   religion, Claude Lefort, Marxism, rights of man, democratic politics, symbolic, democracy, theology, Marcel Gauchet, autonomy

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .