The European Legacy 20 (2):136-150 (2015)

Silas Morgan
Loyola University, Chicago
This article aims to present Judith Butler’s theory of diaspora as a theological paradigm for post-secular social existence. Her accounts of dispossession, statelessness, and exilic identity all afford us a normative challenge for how to think politics and the theological together. We begin by framing Judith Butler’s diasporic theory of politics within Adriennes Rich’s poetic perspective on ecstatic identity. We proceed to argue that by emphasizing both the precariousness and interdependency of social life, Rich and Butler’s shared commitments to universalizing queer forms of collective belonging and affective relations offer an alternative post-secular paradigm to that offered so far by theorists such as Charles Taylor or Jürgen Habermas. Achieving a post-secular “state” may ultimately be a matter of embracing the failure of our own representations, particularly the failures of contemporary religion to represent either the divine or the human, or to constitute a society with its own political theology. It is paradoxically this kind of failure that can open us up to look at ourselves, and to focus on the precariousness and vulnerability of human existence that we see with our very eyes and reproduced by our very own hands.
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DOI 10.1080/10848770.2015.1006938
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