Christianisme et politique en Amerique Latine: ou en est la Theologie de la Liberation? (Christianity and Politics in Latin America: where is the Theology of Liberation?) - DOI: 10.5752/P.2175-5841.2009v7n15p7.
This article makes two key claims in succession. First of all, Kant’s own religious hope is significantly and studiedly distanced from the traditions of Christianity that he would have received, in ways that have not yet been fully, or widely, appreciated. Kant makes an ideal moral community the object of our religious hopes, and not the transcendent God of the tradition. Secondly, Kant nonetheless has a notion of transcendence at play, but in a strikingly different key to traditional (...) class='Hi'>Christianity. Both concepts of transcendence, the Christian and the Kantian, deflate, in their own distinctive ways, our hopes for politics and history, in a way that can unsettle the certainties, and vanities, of both the traditional theologian and the secular Rawlsian. The Christian hope is not the same as Kant’s religious hope, which is distinct, in origin, depth and ambition from his more limited hope for politics. (shrink)
William E. Connolly Capitalism and Christianity, American Style, Durham and London: Duke University Press.Alexander García Düttmann Philosophy of Exaggeration, trans. James Phillips, London: Continuum.Adrian Parr Deleuze and Memorial Culture: Desire, Singular Memory, and the Politics of Trauma, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
In October 2009, a private member introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to Uganda’s Parliament for consideration. This article analyzes the Bill within a broader context of transnational antigay activism, specifically the diverse ways that antigay activism in Uganda is shaped by global dynamics (such as the U.S. Christian Right’s pro-family agenda) and local forms of knowledge and concerns over culture, national identity, and political and socio-economic issues/interests. This article lends insight into how transnational antigay activism connects to and reinforces colonial-inspired scripts (...) about “African” sexuality and the deepening power inequalities between the global North and South under global neoliberalism, and raises some important questions about how the racial and gender politics of the U.S. Christian Right’s pro-family agenda travel and manifest within the Ugandan context. (shrink)
O principal propósito deste artigo é discutir uma das mais importantes questões relativas à interação entre Cristianismo e Política nos vários períodos da Idade Média: a relação entre Império e Igreja. O tema será abordado com base no exame de alguns dos aspectos políticos e imaginários envolvidos nesta relação que, à partida, contrasta dois projetos de cunho universalista que terminam por se opor no contexto político e religioso do período medieval. Entre as questões examinadas, um ponto importante será constituído por (...) uma reflexão sobre as origens da noção de Império a partir do Império Romano e, posteriormente, do Império Carolíngio, assim como suas projeções subseqüentes, inclusive no período que ultrapassa a Idade Média em direção à Modernidade. O relacionamento entre Império e Papado, conforme veremos, foi constituído no período examinado por uma alternância de momentos de aliança e oposição política, mas durante todo o período também pode ser pensado nos termos de um grande confronto, entre os poderes secular e religioso, que envolve as noções de “igreja”, “império” e “reino”. Palavras-chaves : Império, Igreja, Realeza, Papado, PoderThe mainly purpose of this article is to discuss one of the most important questions refereed to the interaction between Christianism and Politics in the various periods of the Middle Ages: the relation between Empire and Ecclesia. The theme will be analyzed on basis of the examination of some political and imaginary aspects involved of this relation that, in first place, contrasts two universal projects that falls in opposition in the political and religious context of the Middle Ages. Among the questions examined, an important point will be constituted by the origins of the notion of Empire since the Roman Empire and, later, the Carolingian Empire, as also their subsequent projections, including in the period that exceeds the Middle Ages in direction to Modernity. The relationship between Empire and Papacy, as we shall see, was constituted by the alternation of moments of alliance and political opposition, but throughout the entire period it can be also thought in terms of a great confrontation between secular and religious powers that involves the notions of “ecclesia”, “empire” and “kingdom”. Key words : Empire, Church, Royalty , Papacy, Power. (shrink)
O artigo aborda teologicamente a problemática “fé-política” em sua unidade estrutural (respectividade constitutiva) e em sua autonomia relativa (especificidade, dinamismo, estrutura). Começa apresentando e confrontando alguns modos possíveis de seu tratamento (modo reducionista, modo dualista e modo estrutural) e assumindo o que nos parece o mais adequado e o mais conseqüente (modo estrutural). Em seguida, enfrenta-se com a problemática fé-política, esboçando, quase que a modo de teses, sua estrutura teológica fundamental: a fé tem uma dimensão política constitutiva sem se identificar (...) com ou se reduzir a ela; a política, em sua relativa autonomia, tem um caráter teologal radical ; tanto a dimensão política da fé quanto o caráter teologal da política carecem de mediações históricas – precisam ser mediatizados historicamente. E esse é, certamente, o aspecto mais complexo e mais polêmico da problemática. Aqui não faremos, senão, indicar algumas questões que nos parecem relevantes e decisivas nesse processo de mediação: objetividade da mediação, especificidade da missão da igreja, sujeitos eclesiais, caráter social da Igreja, o estritamente político da fé e a perspectiva dos pobres e oprimidos. Palavras-chave : Fé; Política; Cristianismo; Teologia Igreja.The present article addresses the theological issue "faith-politics" in its structural unit as well as in its relative autonomy (specificity, dynamics and structure). It begins by presenting and examining three possible ways of approaching the above named “faith-politics” issue, there is to say, reductionist, dual and structural ones. For that purpose, this article takes the last approach, the structural one, as the more consistent of all of them. Faith-politics issue is then dealt by addressing its basic theological structure. In this way, faith has a constitutive political dimension, nor identifying with politics neither being reduced to any politics interpretation. In its relative autonomy, politics then has a radical theological character. This article also emphasizes that political dimension of faith as well as its theological character of policy needs to be historically mediated. And that is certainly the most complex and controversial aspect of faith-politics issue. In other words, this article wishes to indicate some clues that seem to be relevant and decisive in this process of mediation: objectivity of the above-mentioned mediation, specificity of the mission of the church, social character of the Church, political character of faith and the perspective of the poor and oppressed people. Key-words : Faith; Politics; Christianity; Theology; Church. (shrink)
I analyze Hegel’s conception of nationality in order to make clear how he conceives the precise relation between the state and religion. This analysis also allows me to draw conclusions about whether Hegel can be considered racist or Eurocentric. My project involves understanding nationality as Hegel presents it in the anthropology: viz., as a form of spirit immersed in nature and closely related to geography. The geographical features of a nation’s land are reflected in its national religion; its nation-state is (...) a positive expression of this national religion; national religion further functions to reconcile a nation to the particular positive character of its nation-state. Yet as nation-states clash and collapse in history (i.e. the state proper), an absolute (non-national) religion emerges which reconciles its adherents not to the positive form of a certain nation-state, but to the state proper, i.e. the course of world history: this is “Christianity.” Christianity is not a national religion, tied to a certain part of the natural world, but, oddly, it does emerge with a certain peculiar ‘nation’: the “Germans.” Contrary to appearances, the “Germans” for Hegel are necessarily not a nation or race in the traditional sense, because as the vehicle for the absolute religion, their ‘nationality’ is not a form of spirit immersed in nature. Instead, the “Germans” (the apex of history) are beyond race and nationality. Any representation of the “Germans” as exclusively white or European, by Hegel or anyone else, is thus false: the “German” and “Christian” spirit is really just the modern spirit, which is necessarily trans-racial and trans-national. (shrink)
Our century has witnessed violence on an unprecedented scale, in wars that have torn deep into the fabric of national and international life. And as we can see in the recent strife in Bosnia, genocide in Rwanda, and the ongoing struggle to control nuclear weaponry, ancient enmities continue to threaten the lives of masses of human beings. As never before, the question is urgent and practical: How can nations--or ethnic groups, or races--after long, bitter struggles, learn to live side by (...) side in peace? In An Ethic for Enemies, Donald W. Shriver, Jr., President Emeritus of Union Theological Seminary, argues that the solution lies in our capacity to forgive. Taking forgiveness out of its traditional exclusive association with personal religion and morality, Shriver urges us to recognize its importance in the secular political arena. The heart of the book examines three powerful and moving cases from recent American history--our postwar dealings with Germany, with Japan, and our continuing domestic problem with race relations--cases in which acts of forgiveness have had important political consequences. Shriver traces how postwar Germany, in its struggle to break with its political past, progressed from denial of a Nazi past, to a formal acknowledgement of the crimes of Nazi Germany, to providing material compensation for survivors of the Holocaust. He also examines the efforts of Japan and the United States, over time and across boundaries of race and culture, to forgive the wrongs committed by both peoples during the Pacific War. And finally he offers a fascinating discussion of the role of forgiveness in the American civil rights movement. He shows, for instance, that even Malcolm X recognized the need to move from contempt for the integrationist ideal to a more conciliatory, repentant stance toward Civil Rights leaders. Malcolm came to see that only through forgiveness could the separate voices of the African-American movement work together to achieve their goals. If mutual forgiveness was a radical thought in 1964, Shriver reminds us that it has yet to be realized in 1994. "We are a long way from ceasing to hold the sins of the ancestors against their living children," he writes. Yet in this poignant volume, we discover how, by forgiving, enemies can progress and have progressed toward peace. A timely antidote to today's political conflicts, An Ethic for Enemies challenges to us to confront the hatreds that cripple society and threaten to destroy the global village. (shrink)
Wallis draws on his experience in urban ghettos to show why traditional liberal and conservative options that emphasize either social justice or personal values fall short. He looks outside the traditional corridors of power to find solutions. Foreword by Garry Wills Preface by Cornel West.
Although modern societies have come to recognize diversity in human sexuality as simply part of nature, many Christian communities and thinkers still have considerable difficulties with related developments in politics, legislation, and science. In fact, homosexuality is a recurrent topic in the transdisciplinary encounter between Christianity and the sciences, an encounter that is otherwise rather “asexual.” I propose that the recent emergence of “Christianity and Science” as an academic field in its own right is an important part (...) of the larger context of the difficulties related to attempts to reconcile Christianity and a recognition of diversity in human sexuality as a norm. Through a critical discussion of arguments which are upheld most disturbingly on a global scale by the Roman Catholic Church and supported with much sophistry by important stakeholders of an influential stream in analytic philosophy of religion, this paper aims to contextualize and defend the legitimacy of the question why God would create homosexuals as such if it is true that every homosexual act is prohibited by God. While recently advanced nonheterosexist scientific models of sexuality in nature inform the discussion, I reject the simplistic view that religions suppress and the sciences liberate in matters sexual. (shrink)
The church is separate from the state. Thus, historically, it is seen that even though a government wasn’t secular, God was secular. He didn’t drag religion into politics, but silently did intervene to administer temporal justice and order in the world (i.e. temporal justice in relation to temporal authority). With regard to the church, it doesn’t seem that God is interested in an organized religion at all. Christianity had nothing to do with an external temple. Each Christian is (...) the temple of God. This is what frees Paul to do his own theology, separate from the Twelve. (shrink)
In Volume One of Ernest Fortin: Collected Essays, the renowned theologian and political philosopher examines various facets of the unique encounter between biblical religion and Greek philosophy during the early Christian centuries and the Middle Ages. Fortin's aim is to uncover the crucial issues to which this encounter gave rise, such as the sometimes troubling but immensely fruitful tension between divine revelation and philosophic reason. The book includes sections on St. Augustine and the refounding of Christianity; the encounter between (...) Jerusalem and Athens; the medieval roots of Christian education; and Dante and the politics of Christendom. (shrink)
The liberal enlightenment as well as the more radical left have both traditionally opposed religion as a reactionary force in politics, a view culminating in an identification of the politics of religion as fundamentalist theocracy. But recently a number of thinkers—Agamben, Badiou, Tabues and in particular Simon Critchley—have begun to explore a more productive engagement of the religious and the political in which religion features as a possible or even necessary form of human emancipation. The papers in this (...) collection, deriving from a workshop held on and with Simon Critchley at the University of Texas at San Antonio in February 2010, take up the ways in which religion’s encounter with politics transforms not only politics but also religion itself, molding it into various religions of politics, including not just heretical religious metaphysics, but also what Critchley describes as non-metaphysical religion, the faith of the faithless. Starting from Critchley’s own genealogy of Pauline faith, the articles in this collection explore and defend some of the religions of politics and their implications. Costica Bradatan teases out the implications of Critchley’s substitution of humor for tragedy as the vehicle for the minimal self-distancing required for any politics. Jill Stauffer compares Critchley’s non-metaphysical religiosity with Charles Taylor’s account of Christianity. Alistair Welchman unpacks the political theology of the border in terms of god’s timeless act of creation. Anne O’Byrne explores the subtle dialectic between mores and morality in Rousseau’s political ethics. Roland Champagne sees a kind non-metaphysical religion in Arendt’s category of the political pariah. Davide Panagia presents Critchley’s ethics of exposure as the basis for a non-metaphysical political bond. Philip Quadrio wonders about the political ramifications of Critchley’s own ‘mystical anarchism’ and Tina Chanter re-reads the primal site in the Western tradition at which the political and the religious intersect, the Antigone story, side-stepping philosophical interpretations of the story (dominated by Hegel’s reading) by means of a series of post-colonial re-imaginings of the play. The collection concludes with an interview with Simon Critchley taking up the themes of the workshop in the light of more recent political events: the Arab Spring and the rise and fall of the Occupy movement. (shrink)
Wittgenstein’s comment that what can be shown cannot be said has a special resonance with visual representations of power in both Heavy Metal and Fundamentalist Christian communities. Performances at metal shows, and performances of ‘religious theatre’, share an emphasis on violence and destruction. For example, groups like GWAR and Cannibal Corpse feature violent scenes in stage shows and album covers, scenes that depict gory results of unrestrained sexuality that are strikingly like Halloween ‘Hell House’ show presented by neo-Conservative, Fundamentalist Christian (...) churches in the southeastern United States’ ‘Bible Belt’. One group may claim to celebrate violence, the other sees violence as a tool to both encourage ‘moral’ behaviour, and to show that the Christian church is able to ‘speak the language’ of young people who are fans of metal, gore, and horror. Explicit violence, in each case, signifies power relationships that are in transformation. Historically, medieval morality plays and morality cycles had been used as a pedagogical tool. In the modern-day context of fundamentalist religious education, these Hell House performances seek to exclude outsiders and solidify teen membership in the Christian community. Hell House performances are marketed to the young church members, and are seen as a way to reinvigorate conservative Fundamentalist Christianity. Women and girls routinely take part in, and often organize Hell House events. In the context of heavy metal, violent performances do not seek to exclude, but provide an outlet for a variety of socially unacceptable or unpopular feelings. In each context there is an apparent, if not actual, empowering of women who are willing to play particular kinds of roles. The use of violence and gore has a value beyond merely shocking the audience, it is arguably a way that some women find their voice, both for fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist gore metal fans. (shrink)
Even a superficial look at the classical ideas and practices of government of populations makes it immediately apparent that there is a peculiarity in Foucault’s genealogy of western bio-politics and governmentality. According to Foucault, western governmental rationality can be traced back to the Judeo-Christian tradition in general and to the Christian ideology and practice of the pastorate in particular. In this article, my purpose is to show that Christianity was not the prelude to what Foucault calls governmentality but (...) rather marked a rupture in the development that started in classical Greece and Rome and continued in early modern Europe. With the rise of Christianity, the majority of these classical practices, including negative eugenics and even family policies, either faded into the background or they were rejected outright. (shrink)
In the summer of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, an event which led to the horror of World War I and which many historians suggest marked the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1992, Sarajevo again lurched into prominence as the focal point of one of the century’s bloodiest civil wars. Yet Sarajevo at one point epitomized the dreams of the Enlightenment, a city where Christians, Jews, and Muslims peacefully coexisted. In the midst of Sarajevo’s recent decline (...) into chaos and destruction, Susan Sontag decided to produce Act I of Waiting for Godot, which, despite ever-looming danger, played to packed houses. Why? Why did this city of hope lie crushed at the end of the twentieth century? Why did Sontag stage an artistic production in the middle of such overwhelming tragedy? Why Waiting for Godot ? And, most important, why the appreciative, silent tears of audience members who risked their lives to attend a play in the middle of a war?These are the questions that guide David Toole’s theological reflections in Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo, where he seeks to come to terms with what it means to live a life of dignity in a world of undeniable suffering. Toole skillfully weaves together Friedrich Nietzsche’s views on nihilism with Michel Foucault’s analysis of power to produce a metaphysics of tragedy, or a “politics of dying.” Such politics are then used to shed new theological light on the Christian apocalypse and what it means to be alive at the end of the twentieth century. In making his argument, Toole draws innovative connections between such diverse figures as John Milbank, Alasdair MacIntyre, Euripides, John Howard Yoder, and Norman Maclean (author of A River Runs Through It and Young Men and Fire ), all the while using Beckett’s play as a compass for his direction. The end result is a fascinating, eminently readable, unexpectedly adventurous theological inquiry into the meaning of life. (shrink)
Nancy’s deconstruction of Christianity is presented as a critical project within a specific horizon, in which specific references are frequently made to the ancient Greek and Jewish roots of Western philosophy. For Nancy, this means that philosophy should come to terms with its Christian background. Yet ancient Rome and its political culture, which are also very important to an understanding of the birth and development of Christianity, remain marginal in Nancy’s deconstructive work. Understanding Christianity as an ‘autodépassement’ (...) of the cultures it is based on, this article explores the transformation of civitas into civiatas Dei, which is mentioned but little elaborated upon by Nancy. The exploration takes as an example Augustine’s treatment of Varro’s Antiquitates, a main source of his knowledge concerning Roman religion and politics. Varro’s texts are used and distorted by Augustine. The analysis in this article shows that the way in which is Christianity is deconstructed, changes by taking into account this other reference, particularly with regard to the way in which politics is conceptualised. (shrink)
Cornel West's reputation as a public and celebrity intellectual has overshadowed his important contributions to philosophy. Professor Clarence Shole Johnson provides a rectification of this situation in this benchmark, thought-provoking book. After a brief biographical sketch, Johnson leads us through a comprehensive examination of West's philosophy from his conceptions of pragmatism, existentialism, Marxism, and Prophetic Christianity to his persuasive writings on black-Jewish relations, affirmative action, and the role of black intellectuals. Special focus is given to West's writings on ethics (...) and social justice, and how these inform his entire theoretical framework. Cornel West and Philosophy is a unique and indispensable guide to West's diverse philosophical writings. (shrink)
Community and Gift Despite growing uneasiness about the economic and social consequences of the free market, today socialism, like religion, exhibits merely a spectral reality. It no longer seems either plausible or rational, and it has been consigned to the realm of faith. Yet, as with Christianity, socialism still haunts the West because nothing has emerged to replace it. Just as the story of a compassionate God who became a man was seen as the “final religion,” so the hope (...) of a universal fraternity based on sharing was seen as “the final politics.” With its demise, all that seems to…. (shrink)