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Liturgical PowerBetween Economic and Political Theology$
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Nicholas Heron

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823278688

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823278688.001.0001

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The Economic God

The Economic God

(p.15) 1 The Economic God
Liturgical Power

Nicholas Heron

Fordham University Press

This chapter anchors the book by examining Giorgio Agamben’s recent contribution to the study of political theology, which serves as its point of departure. In particular, it seeks to situate his recuperation of what he calls “economic theology” in relation to both its ancient and modern intellectual-historical contexts. In the first place, it locates in the context of the late Hellenistic debates concerning the nature of the gods. Against the Epicureans, on the one hand, who maintained that the gods are improvident and hence inactive, and the Stoics, on the other, who argued instead that they are provident and thus active, the Trinitarian oikonomia, in Agamben’s formulation, entails a god who is at once improvident and provident, at once inactive and active. It is this simultaneously inactive and active god—encompassing a father who reigns but does not govern and a son who governs but does not reign—which, in the second place, will be employed in order to intervene anew in the debate between Carl Schmitt and Erik Peterson regarding the possibility of a Christian political theology.

Keywords:   Giorgio Agamben, economic theology, eternity, oikonomia, monotheism, Erik Peterson, political theology, providence, Carl Schmitt, Trinity

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