An Alternative Political Theology: The Negative and Anticipatory Significance of the Constitutive Concepts of Constitutional Law

  • Luís Pereira CoutinhoEmail author


This chapter explores the dimension of constitutional law composed of constitutive concepts, such as national sovereignty, the people and the concept of Constitution itself. That dimension can be considered as a political-theological dimension in the sense that constitutive concepts are analogous to theological concepts. Both have a negative and anticipatory significance, bearing in mind their understanding in the light of negative theology. In this light, political theology is not to be understood in the terms proposed by Carl Schmitt.


Political theology Negative theology National sovereignty The people Constitution 


  1. Atria, F. (2016). La Forma del Derecho. Madrid: Marcial Pons.Google Scholar
  2. Barth, K. (2004). The doctrine of reconciliation (Die Kirchliche Dogmatik – IV – Die Lehre von der Versöhnung 1, G. W. Bromiley, Trans.). London/New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  3. Blumenberg, H. (1985). The legitimacy of the modern age (Die Legitimität der Neuzeit (1973), R. M. Wallace, Trans.) (2nd ed.). Boston: MIT.Google Scholar
  4. Bobbio, N. (1998). Kelsen and legal power. In S. Paulson & B. Paulson (Eds.), Normativity and norms: Critical perspectives on Kelsenian Themes (pp. 435–450). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  5. Brunet, P. (2004). Vouloir pour la Nation: Le Concept de Representation dans la Théorie de l’État. Paris: Bruylant/LGDJ.Google Scholar
  6. Carré de Malberg, R. (1920). Contribution à la Théorie Générale de l’État (Vol. I). Paris: Recueil Sirey.Google Scholar
  7. Carré de Malberg, R. (1922). Contribution à la Théorie Générale de l’État (Vol. II). Paris: Recueil Sirey.Google Scholar
  8. Kantorowicz, E. (1957). The King’s two bodies: A study in mediaevel political theology. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Kelsen, H. (2004). Lineamenti di Teoria Generali dello Stato (Grundriss einer allgemeinen Theorie des Staates (1926), A. Carrino, Trans.). Torino: G. Giapppichelli.Google Scholar
  10. Loughlin, M. (2012). The political jurisprudence of Thomas Hobbes. In D. D. Dyzenhaus & T. Poole (Eds.), Hobbes and the law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Maulin, E. (2003). La Théorie de l’État de Carré de Malberg. Paris: PUF.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Pannenberg, W. (1992). Teologia Sistematica, I (Systematische Theologie I (1988), J. Martinez Camino, Trans.). Madrid: UPCO.Google Scholar
  13. Peterson, E. (1999). El Monoteísmo como Problema Politico (Der Monotheismus als politisches Problem (1935), A. Andreu, Trans.). Madrid: Editorial Trotta.Google Scholar
  14. Schmitt, C. (1985). Political theology: Four chapters on the concept of sovereignty (Politische Theologie (1934), G. Schwab, Trans.) (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  15. Schmitt, C. (2008a). Political theology IIThe myth of the closure of any political theology (Politische Theologie II (1970), M. Hoelzl & G. Ward, Trans.). Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  16. Schmitt, C. (2008b). The Leviathan in the state theory of Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan in der Staatslehre des Thomas Hobbes (1938), G. Schwab, Trans.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  17. Schmitz, A. (2016). Legitimacy of the modern age? Hans Blumenberg and Carl Schmitt. In J. Meierhenrich & O. Simons (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of Carl Schmitt (pp. 719–720). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Troper, M. (2017). The structure of the legal system and the emergence of the state. Straus Working Paper 01/12.Google Scholar
  19. Troper, M. (2018). Souveraineté et Représentation. In Les Défis de la Représentation, ed. by Manuela Albertone and Dario Castiglione. Classiques Garnier, Paris, pp. 76-89.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lisbon’s School of Law, Lisbon UniversityLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations