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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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Political Theology and the Postsecular

Political Theology and the Postsecular

(p.77) Chapter Three Political Theology and the Postsecular
Radical Democracy and Political Theology

Jeffrey W. Robbins

Columbia University Press

This chapter turns to the application of radical democracy to political theology. It poses the question of how radical democracy might affect a new and different understanding of political theology. Political theorist Carl Schmitt argues that democracy and political theology represent two equally compelling, but opposing, political options to confront the seemingly overwhelming force of the modern technocratic state. The chapter examines whether those who employ political theology harbor secret theocratic intentions; whether normative political theory is correct in assuming that the political must safeguard itself from the religious; and how radical democracy opens a pathway for a reconfiguration of the proper relationship between political theology and democracy. It also contrasts Charles Taylor's notion of religious autonomy with Stephen Carter's “trivialization of religion,” in an effort to determine the meaning of the postsecular.

Keywords:   political theology, democracy, Carl Schmitt, technocratic state, political theory, religious autonomy, trivialization of religion

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