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Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote that "the people reign over the American political world like God over the universe," unwittingly casting democracy as the political instantiation of the death of God. According to Jeffrey W. Robbins, Tocqueville's assessment remains an apt observation of modern democratic power, which does not rest with a sovereign authority but operates a Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote that "the people reign over the American political world like God over the universe," unwittingly casting democracy as the political instantiation of the death of God. According to Jeffrey W. Robbins, Tocqueville's assessment remains an apt observation of modern democratic power, which does not rest with a sovereign authority but operates as a diffuse social force. By linking radical democratic theory to a contemporary fascination with political theology, Robbins envisions the modern experience of democracy as a social, cultural, and political force transforming the nature of sovereign power and political authority. Robbins joins his work with Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's radical conception of "network power," as well as Sheldon Wolin's notion of "fugitive democracy," to fashion a political theology that captures modern democracy's social and cultural torment. This approach has profound implications not only for the nature of contemporary religious belief and practice but also for the reconceptualization of the proper relationship between religion and politics. Challenging the modern, liberal, and secular assumption of a neutral public space, Robbins conceives of a postsecular politics for contemporary society that inextricably links religion to the political. While effectively recasting the tradition of radical theology as a political theology, this book also develops a comprehensive critique of the political theology bequeathed by Carl Schmitt. It marks an original and visionary achievement by the scholar the Journal of the American Academy of Religion hailed "one of the best commentators on religion and postmodernism."


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Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote that "the people reign over the American political world like God over the universe," unwittingly casting democracy as the political instantiation of the death of God. According to Jeffrey W. Robbins, Tocqueville's assessment remains an apt observation of modern democratic power, which does not rest with a sovereign authority but operates a Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote that "the people reign over the American political world like God over the universe," unwittingly casting democracy as the political instantiation of the death of God. According to Jeffrey W. Robbins, Tocqueville's assessment remains an apt observation of modern democratic power, which does not rest with a sovereign authority but operates as a diffuse social force. By linking radical democratic theory to a contemporary fascination with political theology, Robbins envisions the modern experience of democracy as a social, cultural, and political force transforming the nature of sovereign power and political authority. Robbins joins his work with Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri's radical conception of "network power," as well as Sheldon Wolin's notion of "fugitive democracy," to fashion a political theology that captures modern democracy's social and cultural torment. This approach has profound implications not only for the nature of contemporary religious belief and practice but also for the reconceptualization of the proper relationship between religion and politics. Challenging the modern, liberal, and secular assumption of a neutral public space, Robbins conceives of a postsecular politics for contemporary society that inextricably links religion to the political. While effectively recasting the tradition of radical theology as a political theology, this book also develops a comprehensive critique of the political theology bequeathed by Carl Schmitt. It marks an original and visionary achievement by the scholar the Journal of the American Academy of Religion hailed "one of the best commentators on religion and postmodernism."

30 review for Radical Democracy and Political Theology

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Sverker

    Well, I am not so terribly impressed. Robbins makes a good introduction and has a worthwhile project, but he does not quite deliver in my mind. He argues that democracy is not radical enough (and gives good evidence for that in the introduction!) and that radical theology is not political enough. He wants to change both these things with a mutual interaction between radical political thinking and by criticising political theology that derives from Carl Schmitt. In the end I am not sure that he h Well, I am not so terribly impressed. Robbins makes a good introduction and has a worthwhile project, but he does not quite deliver in my mind. He argues that democracy is not radical enough (and gives good evidence for that in the introduction!) and that radical theology is not political enough. He wants to change both these things with a mutual interaction between radical political thinking and by criticising political theology that derives from Carl Schmitt. In the end I am not sure that he has been able to show me that he has reached a political theology for radical theology. He has critiqued the represenational democracy and emphasises the concept of multitude instead. But what is the result. I am not sure that I really know what Robbins means by politics, or that he is clear with what politics is. Is it the act of decision making between people in a given culture? That is what it seems as if Robbins is arguing, and he might be right here that then democracy in itself has displaced God. But one can also see politics as the arena in which politics can happen (along the line of Arendt), and then Robbins is very unclear with what or who is able to constitute the arena of politics, the foundation for politics. There is further unclarity how he sees the praxis of this multitude. He doesn't have to present a complete alternative to representational democracy, but some hints would have been nice.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shahab Ghadiri

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Nolan

  4. 4 out of 5

    James

  5. 4 out of 5

    Austin

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sivin Kit

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cik Binti Indra

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paul Vittay

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Rodkey

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yongtaek

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tia

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kev

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jay

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Navas

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  20. 4 out of 5

    Edward Smith

  21. 4 out of 5

    Simon

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

  23. 5 out of 5

    G

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eduardo

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elliott

  27. 5 out of 5

    LPenting

  28. 4 out of 5

    Todd McKean

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

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