This chapter critiques the political theology of Slavoj Zizek as beset by social theoretical and strategic political problems. Political theology here is a privileged intellectual terrain on which to simultaneously resolve questions about liberating forms of social cohesion in a post-revolutionary political community and about cultural strategy in the radical program. In connection with the Marxist critique of religious ideology, Zizek’s work represents an important contribution to the research program that emerged from the Althusserian approaches to social theory. But although Zizek has the conceptual resources to generate a dialectical theory of the connection between religious ideology and political strategy, he instead opts for a theory of radical rupture with existing forms of life. Detoured through the encounter with Carl Schmitt, Zizek’s doctrine of radical rupture quickly becomes an inverted Schmittianism, freighted with the problems of the militarisation of politics and the arbitrary designation of enemies that he diagnoses in Schmitt, but does not transcend in his own response. Zizek’s figure of the “religious suspension of the ethical” brings the politics of rupture to its most problematic (and baroque) formulations, revealing the fundamental problem of the ideological representation of political structures.
In Press, awaiting publication
Field of Research
220307 Hermeneutic and Critical Theory
Socio Economic Objective
970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
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