Research Unit in Politics & Ethics
Seminar series 2013
Goldsmiths University of London
Political Theology seminar series 2013 (Research Unit for Politics and Ethics) presents a talk by:
Professor Michael Dillon
(University of Lancaster)
'Fiat Lux: Politics of Truth, Theology and the Event'
Monday 18 February, 5:30pm-7:30pm, Richard Hoggart Building (RHB) 144
Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK
All seminars are free. For further details, contact RUPE Director Prof. Saul Newman, Dept. of Politics, Goldsmiths University of London: firstname.lastname@example.org / or go to the RUPE events webpage: http://www.gold.ac.uk/rupe/events
Talk abstract: The organization of a politics of truth around the trope of the event is hardly novel as the title reference to Genesis Verse 3 in The King James Version of the Bible indicates. The event has never been that which simply happens. The time of the event, however conceived, is ruptured eschatologically. This rupture spaces time out. It creates an interval which, as Badiou observed, ‘is a space of consequences.’ Whereas the evental eschaton of revealed religion signalled the threshold obtaining onto-theologically between the transcendent and the immanent, in which the space of consequences was acted out governmentally as redemptive politics, for modern finitudinal accounts of time, the evental eschaton functions to punctuate the infinity of finitudinal orders instead. Here Badiou’s space of consequences takes a governmental as well as revolutionary form. My concern is with the governmental, specifically that of global liberal governance and the eschatological rupture of its account of the event as the catastrophic emergency of emergence that distinguishes its evental account of Life.
Series description: Ever since Carl Schmitt declared in 'Politische Theologie' (1922) that 'all significant concepts of the modern state are secularized theological concepts', political theorists and philosophers have been engaged with the seemingly inextricable connection between religious and theological categories and modern forms of power. There is a 'theological stain' haunting our apparently secular political institutions, identities and ways of life. Contemporary continental thinkers like William E Connolly, Wendy Brown, Rainer Forst, Judith Butler, Giorgio Agamben and Alain Badiou have sought, in different ways, to explore this link, showing how religious categories underpin modern understandings of sovereignty, law and even capitalism, and how the notion of the miracle of Christ's Resurrection may allow us to think about the revolutionary Event. However, this nexus between religion and politics has been a preoccupation of political thought for a long time, going back to the Middle Ages and the early Modern period.
This seminar series, which includes contributions from Michael Dillon, Alberto Toscano, Riccardo Baldissone and others will explore different dimensions of the question of political theology, engaging with questions of the Event and eschatology, economic theology, sovereignty, government and law.
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