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Political TheologiesPublic Religions in a Post-Secular World$
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Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226443

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226443.001.0001

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Reinhabiting Civil Disobedience

Reinhabiting Civil Disobedience

Chapter:
(p.365) Reinhabiting Civil Disobedience
Source:
Political Theologies
Author(s):

Bhrigupati Singh

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823226443.003.0020

Can the concept of political theology be retrieved within the wider tradition of “moral perfectionism”, of imagining philosophy as a way of life? This chapter examines this strand of thought, which runs from Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to Stanley Cavell, Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, and Mahatma Gandhi. It argues that Gandhi's way of “reinhabiting”, more than simply reformulating or resituating, Thoreau's concept of civil disobedience was based on a positive “relation to desire”, on “a form of attraction”, irreducible to any Kantian sense of obligation, ought, or pure duty, but rather an experimentation with a “further self” that is one with “another world, the eventual, struggling to emerge from the actual”. Gandhi says “anyone who thinks that religion and politics can be kept apart, understands neither religion nor politics”.

Keywords:   Mahatma Gandhi, civil disobedience, political theology, moral perfectionism, philosophy, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Stanley Cavell, religion, politics

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