07 June 2010

CONF: Political Theology as the Problem

International conference "Political Theology as the Problem" of the Institute of Political Science and International Relations of the Jagiellonian University and the Institute of Political Science of the Jesuit University of Philosophy and Education "Ignatianum", at the Ignatianum, ul. Kopernika 26, Krakow, Poland, 16-17 September 2010


Description: "Political theology is the problem that a modern science of politics should be apt to confront. For that kind of theology means primarily an intellectual as well as moral (with 'moral' coming first) attitude towards the very foundation of a political community that ought to be connected with divine command rather than purely human invention. The political theologian deals with the issues of order, authority, subordination to the Law of God or His will. Indeed, what is at stake is the most basic question of the best way of life men can lead; the life that now appears to be lived according to the command from above. And what is the relation between such a command and the workings of unassisted human reason? Is the possibility of political theology in its current guise not deeply pervaded by a growing distrust of philosophy and science? Is it not a kind of mere abreaction against the world of disenchantment and secularization provided by modern political philosophy? Yet the attitude characteristic of a political theologian may also bear witness to the fact that modern philosophy or science has never truly resolved the tension between what is rational and what is political, between the reason and passion of a citizen. Hence some tradition that preceded anti-traditional modernity must be seriously taken into consideration.

"The problem of political theology refers to a large number of highly differentiated domains of theoretical research. It also has its counterpart on the side of political practice insofar as a continual struggle between various political-theological attitudes can be found within each of the societies of the West. We can perceive, too, some menacing political-theological pressure born in societies that evidently do not share the prevalent Western position, i.e. a conviction that the core of religious matters must be situated in the private sphere. To have our present situation plausibly explained a broad undertaking in the whole field of the history of ideas must be launched. The present conference marks an attempt towards such an undertaking. We want to discuss the problem of political theology as well as some of its sources rooted in ancient and medieval traditions of thought. Thus the problem of political theology may be connected with the problem of modern political atheism in light of some obvious limitations of the modern solution regarding the relations between Reason and Revelation we now face. Last but not least, this is an opportunity to confront some prevalent views on political-theological issues as they appear in the different contexts of the different countries the participants come from."

Speakers include: Victoria Kahn (Berkeley), "Political Theology and Modern Culture: Strauss, Schmitt, Spinoza, and Arendt"; Daniel Tanguay (University of Ottawa), "Democracy as Negative Political Theology: Marcel Gauchet's Theory of Democracy"; David Janssens (Tilburg University), "Violent Grace: The Theologico-Political Problem in Ancient Poetry and Philosophy"; Herfried Münkler (Humboldt University of Berlin), "Politische Mythen als eine Form der politischen Religion" ("Political Myths as a Form of Political Religion"; organizers' translation); Ryszard Legutko (Jagiellonian University), "Problem ciągłości kulturowej narodu w kontekście teologiczno-politycznym" ("Cultural Continuity of a Nation as a Theologico-Political Problem"; organizers' translation); Leora Batnitzky (Princeton), "Law and Belief: Judaism, Christianity, and the Theologico-Political Predicament of Modernity"; Till Kinzel (Braunschweig University of Technology), "Political Theology, Hermeneutics and Bible Criticism: English Thinkers on Reason and Revelation between 'libertas philosophandi' and 'conservatio tranquillitatis' in the 17th and 18th Century"; Emmanuel Patard (University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne), "The Theologico-Political Problem and the Strauss-Voegelin Debate"; Marek A. Cichocki (University of Warsaw), "Carl Schmitt's Political Theology"; John McCormick (University of Chicago), "Post-Enlightenment Sources of Political Authority: Biblical Atheism, Political Theology, and the Schmitt-Strauss Exchange"; Arkadiusz Górnisiewicz (Jagiellonian University), "The Problem of the Closure of any Political Theology: Remarks on the Controversy between Erik Peterson, Carl Schmitt, and Hans Blumenberg"

The registration section of the website does not yet provide any information.

People interested in participating may therefore want to contact: tpolityczna@ignatianum.edu.pl

Coordinators: Paweł Armada, Krzysztof Matuszek (both Ignatianum), Mateusz Filary, Arkadiusz Górnisiewicz (both Jagiellonian University)

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