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A critique of the political theology of Slavoj Zizek

Boucher, Geoff 2016, A critique of the political theology of Slavoj Zizek. In Boer, R. and Durbin, S. (ed), Religion and Political Thought, Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp.1-24.

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Title A critique of the political theology of Slavoj Zizek
Author(s) Boucher, GeoffORCID iD for Boucher, Geoff
Title of book Religion and Political Thought
Editor(s) Boer, R.
Durbin, S.
Publication date 2016
Total chapters 12
Start page 1
End page 24
Total pages 24
Publisher Brill
Place of Publication Leiden, The Netherlands
Keyword(s) Zizek
political theology
Lacanian psychoanalysis
theory of ideology
Summary 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.
Notes In Press, awaiting publication
Language eng
Field of Research 220307 Hermeneutic and Critical Theory
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
ERA Research output type B Book chapter
Copyright notice ©2016, Brill
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Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: School of Communication and Creative Arts
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