Politics of Religion/Religions of Politics

  • Alistair Welchman

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Alistair Welchman
    Pages 1-9
  3. Simon Critchley
    Pages 11-27
  4. Philip A. Quadrio
    Pages 29-49
  5. Alistair Welchman
    Pages 51-68
  6. Jill Stauffer
    Pages 79-98
  7. Davide Panagia
    Pages 99-115
  8. Costica Bradatan
    Pages 127-141
  9. An Interview with Simon Critchley by Alistair Welchman
    Pages 171-187
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 189-191

About this book


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.


Critchley and mystical anarchism Infinitely Demanding anti-cosmic ethics of exposure ethics of projection letter to D’Alembert

Editors and affiliations

  • Alistair Welchman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ClassicsUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
  • Print ISBN 978-94-017-9447-3
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-9448-0
  • Series Print ISSN 2211-1107
  • Series Online ISSN 2211-1115
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