Skip to main content
Read page text

Page Text

Political Theology A Critical Introduction SAUL NEWMAN

God is dead, but his presence lives on in politics. This is the problem of political theology: the way that theological ideas find their way into secular political institutions, particularly the sovereign state. In this intellectual tour-de-force, political theorist Saul Newman shows how political theology arose alongside secularism, and relates to the problem of legitimizing power and authority in modernity. Examining the current crisis of the liberal order, he argues that recent phenomena, such as the rise of populism, the renewed demand for strong national sovereignty and the return of religious fundamentalism may be understood through this paradigm. He illustrates his argument by exploring themes such as sovereignty, democracy, technology, and the future of radical politics, engaging with thinkers ranging from Schmitt and Stirner to Foucault and Agamben. This book will be a crucial text for all students, scholars and general readers interested in the meaning and significance of political theology for political theory. SAUL NEWMAN is Professor of Political Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London.

216 x 138mm | 216 pages | October 2018

HB | 978-1-5095-2839-4 £50.00 | $64.99 | €65.90 PB | 978-1-5095-2840-0 £15.99 | $22.95 | €20.90

ebook available


From citizens paying taxes to employees following their bosses’ orders and kids obeying their parents, we take it for granted that a whole range of authorities have the power to impose duties on others. However, although authority is often accepted in practice, it looks philosophically problematic if we conceive persons as free and equals. In this short and accessible book, Fabian Wendt examines the basis of authority, discussing five prominent theories that try to explain how claims to authority can be vindicated. Focusing in particular on the issue of how states can rightfully claim authority, he analyzes the theories’ arguments and evaluates their strengths and weaknesses. He also debates anarchism as an alternative that should be taken seriously if no theory can ultimately explain state authority. This book will be essential reading for anyone grappling with the most fundamental questions of authority and obligation in political theory and political philosophy. FABIAN WENDT is a Research Associate at Chapman University in Orange, California.

Series: Key Concepts in Political Theory 216 x 138mm | 136 pages | July 2018

HB | 978-1-5095-1697-1 £45.00 | $59.95 | €57.90 PB | 978-1-5095-1698-8 £14.99 | $19.95 | €19.90

ebook available



Skip to main content