Jeffrey W. Robbins's "Radical Democracy and Political Theology" gaat niet over Spinoza

Jeffrey Robbins is de laatste dagen flink bezig geweest zijn recent verschenen boek te promoten met youtube-filmpjes. Daarbij líjkt het om een boek te gaan waarin ook flink aandacht aan Spinoza's politieke filosofie wordt gegeven, maar dat is schijn. Eerst het boek, daarna die filmpjes en een tekstje uit het boek, waaruit blijkt dat het daarin niet om Spinozas politieke filosofie gaat.


Jeffrey W. Robbins, Radical Democracy and Political Theology (Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture). Columbia University Press (March 30, 2011)

De uitgever: 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."

De video's What is the Post-Secular?
Author of RADICAL DEMOCRACY AND POLITICAL THEOLOGY introduces public lecture on "What is the Post-Secular? Rethinking the Proper Relationship Between Religion and Politics." Here he makes reference to Baruch Spinoza and Carl Schmitt not only as historical bookends of modern political theology but also opposite ends of the politico-theological spectrum. He then outlines the argument for his own democratic political theology.

Part 1

Part 2

zie Part 4 [een 3e deel is er (nog?) niet] 

Uit de inleiding:

This introduction began with two mutually reinforcing observations, one about radical theology being insufficiently political and the other about political theology being largely antidemocratic in its thrust. Regarding this second observation, consider, for instance, the modern history of political theology: while it begins with Baruch Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise from 1670, which inaugurates an immanent political theology that corresponds to a burgeoning democratic age, it is Carl Schmitt's Political Theology, first published in 1922 and later revised and republished in 1934, that defines its current parameters and preoccupations. Schmitt's work arrives at that crisis point when many are unmistakably perceiving the breakdown of the modern, liberal, democratic order. What Schmitt accomplishes is almost a complete repudiation and reversal of Spinoza's political theology. Whereas Spinoza heralds the beginning of the modern, liberal, democratic order, Schmitt chronicles, or exposes, or perhaps even hastens its end. Whereas Spinoza's theology in as a political propaedeutic by using his critique of religious authority to create an open and free space for democratic reasoning, Schmitt begins with modern political philosophy and lays bare its theological root: "All significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts." And finally, whereas Spinoza was almost the prototypical iconoclast, leaving him an "outcast twice removed"—to the Jewish community he was a heretic who was excommunicated at age twenty-four but to the Christians still an "atheist Jew" regarded by his contemporaries as "the most impious and most dangerous man of the century"—Schmitt followed his powerful critiques of the foundations of the Weimar Republic by becoming a supporter of Adolf Hitler and a member of the Nazi party (at the invitation of Martin Heidegger)." Of course, this is not a book about Spinoza but about Schmitt—or more precisely, about the large shadow cast by Schmitt over the entire field of contemporary political theology. For Schmitt, political theol-ogy is primarily concerned with the concept of sovereignty not as democratically conceived by Spinoza but rather as delineated in the state of exception.” [vet van SV]

Een weinig van Spinoza wordt wel hier en daar in het boek kort genoemd, maar het boek gaat niet over de TTP en de TP. De video's zouden mogelijk een andere verwachting wekken - u bent gewaarschuwd.


Jeffrey W. Robbins, Radical Democracy and Political Theology cf 

The Theo-politics of Radical Democracy: An Interview with Jeffrey W. Robbins (Part 1 & 2)

Jeffrey W. Robbins Blog op The Huffington Post