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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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Church, State, Resistance

Church, State, Resistance

Chapter:
(p.102) Church, State, Resistance
Source:
Political Theologies
Author(s):

Jean-Luc Nancy

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823226443.003.0003

This chapter argues that the relationship between church and state must be rethought in light of the fact that religion, while not a private preference but rather a mode of representing and organizing both personal and collective existence, is the original and polar opposite of the political. Theocracy, as the other of politics, represents heteronomy by definition and by structure. Politics—conceived as a form of political or moral resistance—can be seen to imply a relation between autonomy and heteronomy, that is to say, between the political and the ecclesial (and hence, we may suspect, ultimately between democracy and theocracy). This chapter thus postulates a more fundamental and effective/affective modality of relation (here called “love”), which precedes or supersedes the distinction between autonomy and heteronomy and exerts itself in—and beyond—the very resistance between the two poles that has constituted the essence of the political since Greece, Rome, and the earliest beginnings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Keywords:   church, state, religion, politics, theocracy, autonomy, heteronomy, democracy, resistance

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