Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Carl Schmitt—Political Theologian?

Abstract
Abstract

“Political theology” is now a fixture within political theory's lexicon. Although Carl Schmitt's Political Theology (1922) is identified as the contemporary locus classicus for the concept, that work's primary task is only to elaborate a “sociology of juristic concepts.” Beginning in the 1990s, however, Schmitt's entire corpus has increasingly been interpreted as one motivated by “political theology” in a stronger sense—as political action based upon faith in (Christian) revelation. I challenge this thesis by (1) examining its history, (2) drawing attention to the many aspects of Schmitt's (mostly Weimar-era) work that are deeply at odds with this thesis, and (3) reexamining his (mostly postwar) remarks ordinarily cited to bolster the thesis. Ultimately, the core of Schmitt's thought lies elsewhere; returning to the purported father of political theology brings clarity to the bourgeoning discussion of this topic within the discipline.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Michael Gillespie , Theological Origins of Modernity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008)

Derrida , Beast and the Sovereign (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009)

Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan , eds. Political Theologies (New York: Fordham University Press, 2006)

William McCormick , “Jacques Maritain on Political Theology,European Journal of Political Theory 12, no. 2 (2013): 175–94

John McCormick , “Political Theory and Political Theology,Political Theory 26, no. 6 (1998): 831

William Hooker , Carl Schmitt's International Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009)

Slavoj Žižek , , The Neighbor (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005)

John Milbank , Theology and Social Theory (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006)

Graham Hammill , eds., Political Theology and Early Modernity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012)

Jacob Taubes , To Carl Schmitt (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013)

Ronald Beiner , Civil Religion (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010), esp. 359–60, 364, 368

Heinrich Meier , “Philosopher as Enemy,Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 17, nos. 1–2 (1994): 329

Joseph Bendersky , Journal of Modern History 69, no. 4 (1997): 892

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Review of Politics
  • ISSN: 0034-6705
  • EISSN: 1748-6858
  • URL: /core/journals/review-of-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 36 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 293 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 27th March 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.