Governmentality Meets Theology

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

While this ‘extraordinary’ book appears as an intermezzo within the Homo Sacer series (Negri, 2008), it supports two fundamental theses with its own philological, epigraphic, liturgical and religious-historical research, and a close reading of figures such as Ernst Kantorowicz and Marcel Mauss. These theses concern political power first as an articulation of sovereign reign and economic government and, secondly, as constituted by acclamations and glorification. These can be approached theoretically through its author’s engagement with Michel Foucault’s genealogy of governmentality and with the Erik Peterson/Carl Schmitt debate on the closure of political theology. Agamben’s reformulation of power and his derivation of liberal governmentality from the theological oikonomia prove convincing. A renewed analytics of power and politics of resistance should be possible, however, without recourse to a project seeking to deactivate all profane powers including those of public bureaucracies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTheory, Culture & Society
Volume29
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)145-158
ISSN0263-2764
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Dean, Mitchell. / Governmentality Meets Theology. In: Theory, Culture & Society. 2012 ; Vol. 29, No. 3. pp. 145-158.
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Governmentality Meets Theology. / Dean, Mitchell.

In: Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 29, No. 3, 2012, p. 145-158.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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AB - While this ‘extraordinary’ book appears as an intermezzo within the Homo Sacer series (Negri, 2008), it supports two fundamental theses with its own philological, epigraphic, liturgical and religious-historical research, and a close reading of figures such as Ernst Kantorowicz and Marcel Mauss. These theses concern political power first as an articulation of sovereign reign and economic government and, secondly, as constituted by acclamations and glorification. These can be approached theoretically through its author’s engagement with Michel Foucault’s genealogy of governmentality and with the Erik Peterson/Carl Schmitt debate on the closure of political theology. Agamben’s reformulation of power and his derivation of liberal governmentality from the theological oikonomia prove convincing. A renewed analytics of power and politics of resistance should be possible, however, without recourse to a project seeking to deactivate all profane powers including those of public bureaucracies.

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