The Future of Illusion

The Future of Illusion

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In recent years, the rise of fundamentalism and a related turn to religion in the humanities have led to a powerful resurgence of interest in the problem of political theology. In a critique of this contemporary fascination with the theological underpinnings of modern politics, Victoria Kahn proposes a return to secularisma€”whose origins she locates in the art, literature, and political theory of the early modern perioda€”and argues in defense of literature and art as a force for secular liberal culture. Kahn draws on theorists such as Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, Walter Benjamin, and Hannah Arendt and their readings of Shakespeare, Hobbes, Machiavelli, and Spinoza to illustrate that the dialogue between these modern and early modern figures can help us rethink the contemporary problem of political theology. Twentieth-century critics, she shows, saw the early modern period as a break from the older form of political theology that entailed the theological legitimization of the state. Rather, the period signaled a new emphasis on a secular notion of human agency and a new preoccupation with the ways art and fiction intersected the terrain of religion.Michael Allen Gillespie, The Theological Origins ofModernity (Chi- cago: University of Chicago Press, 2008), 270, 280. ... of politi- cal theology in Thinking with Shakespeare (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011) and subsequent essays. ... Political Theology and Imagination from Machiavelli to Milton (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2012). ... God or Platonic ideals but rather that political making assumes supplemental discoursesa€”myths and founding fictions a€”that playanbsp;...

Title:The Future of Illusion
Author: Victoria Kahn
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2014-01-13

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