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ReligioWest Project Lecture Series - A Political Theology for a Civil Religion

Dates:
  • Wed 18 Jan 2012 17.30 - 19.30
  Add to Calendar 2012-01-18 17:30 2012-01-18 19:30 Europe/Paris ReligioWest Project Lecture Series - A Political Theology for a Civil Religion

This lecture will explore the political theology of the American civil religion. This has little to do with the relationship of church to state. Rather, it examines the polity as itself the bearer of an ultimate meaning. The exceptional character of American constitutionalism, both in law and political practice, begins with the belief that the constitutional text is a trace of sovereign presence. The text represents the now withdrawn popular sovereign. Revolution appears as the exceptional moment of sovereign self-creation; Constitution as the text it authors. To link constitution to revolution is to link law to violence, justice to sacrifice, and the universal to the particular. The fundamental structure of the imagination present in each of these pairs is that of representation to identity. Political theology explores the shape of the social imaginary that deploys this relationship in the service of a conception of freedom. In the lecture, I will use our current controversy over health care legislation as an example through which to offer a reading of the distinctly American conceptions of text, interpretation, sacrifice, judicial role, and the meaning of citizenship as a practice of freedom. Please note that this event will be video recorded.

Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana

This lecture will explore the political theology of the American civil religion. This has little to do with the relationship of church to state. Rather, it examines the polity as itself the bearer of an ultimate meaning. The exceptional character of American constitutionalism, both in law and political practice, begins with the belief that the constitutional text is a trace of sovereign presence. The text represents the now withdrawn popular sovereign. Revolution appears as the exceptional moment of sovereign self-creation; Constitution as the text it authors. To link constitution to revolution is to link law to violence, justice to sacrifice, and the universal to the particular. The fundamental structure of the imagination present in each of these pairs is that of representation to identity. Political theology explores the shape of the social imaginary that deploys this relationship in the service of a conception of freedom. In the lecture, I will use our current controversy over health care legislation as an example through which to offer a reading of the distinctly American conceptions of text, interpretation, sacrifice, judicial role, and the meaning of citizenship as a practice of freedom. Please note that this event will be video recorded.


Location:
Sala del Capitolo, Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Lecture

Organiser:
Prof. Olivier Roy (EUI-RSCAS)

Speaker:
Professor Paul Kahn (Yale University)

Contact:
Mia Saugman - Send a mail

Links:
ReligioWest Project
 
 

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