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Passing OrdersDemonology and Sovereignty in American Spiritual Warfare$
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S. Jonathon O'Donnell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823289677

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823289677.001.0001

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Leviathan’s Wake: Demonology and the Passing of Order

Leviathan’s Wake: Demonology and the Passing of Order

(p.109) 4 Leviathan’s Wake: Demonology and the Passing of Order
Passing Orders

S. Jonathon O’Donnell

Fordham University Press

This chapter uses decolonial and settler colonial theory to analyse the spirit of Leviathan. Imagined both as a singular spirit and the sum of all demons, Leviathan is used to conceptualize ideas of chaos and counterfeit order. As chaos and counterfeit, they embody the base matter from which sovereignty makes order and all “illegitimate” forms of that order. Reading spiritual warfare’s demonology through Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, the chapter traces conjurations of Leviathan in images of primordial chaos, the neoliberal state, resurgent socialism and grassroots protest groups, and revitalized indigenous religions. It contends that Leviathan unsettles teleological narratives by embodying alternative possibilities that sovereign will has deemed over, but which ceaselessly pass into and as “right” order. The repetition of these passings means that—absent an apocalypse that ends all possibility of an otherwise—sovereignty must always reinvent itself in reaction to Leviathan’s passings to disguise (thereby actualizing) its own passing.

Keywords:   apocalypse, Thomas Hobbes, indigenous religions, Leviathan, neoliberalism, settler colonialism, socialism, sovereignty, teleology

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