Regenstein Library

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1100 East 57th St
Chicago
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60637
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Beyond Political Theology? Authority, Community, and the Absolute

Free and open to the public. All are welcome!

Saturday, December 6
9:30 am – 6:00 pm

Regenstein Library, Room 122
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637

The global resurgence of religiously motivated politics has challenged the “enlightened” conclusion that public life would increasingly be organized along non-religious lines. Theophilic critics charge that the promise of liberation offered by a secular politics has reduced human beings to economic pawns and thwarted their potential to shape a substantively fulfilling future in collaboration with others. Conversely, defenders of the enlightenment narrative contend that fundamentalisms of any stripe not only inhibit cooperation across communities with distinct identities, but also unleash forces that corrode salutary modern institutions. The recurrent apotheosis of apparently secular social arrangements has shown the difficulty of banishing appeals to some kind of absolute from the political realm. Is the citation of transcendent authority in whatever form always potentially threatening to collective decision-making? Or can we (should we?) arrive at mutual accommodations between political theology and democratic community?

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Conference participants include:

Philip Gorski (Yale University)
Victoria Kahn (University of California, Berkeley), “What Original Sin? Political Theology and the Work of Metaphor”
Thomas Meyer (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich), “Political Theology and Democracy. A Reexamination”
A. Azfar Moin (University of Texas, Austin), “Why Muslim Kings Worshipped the Sun: Islam and Cosmotheism”
Jan-Werner Müller (Princeton University), “What was Christian Democracy?  Reflections on a Peculiarity of Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century European Politics”
Georges Tamer (Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), “God and the State in Islam”
Schedule of Events

8:45-9:30 a.m.                     Coffee and Registration

9:30-10:00 a.m.                    Welcome: Clifford Ando
Introduction: Andreas Glaeser

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.           Session One. Chair: Lisa Wedeen

10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.             Victoria Kahn (Berkeley): “What Original Sin? Political Theology and the Work Metaphor”
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.             A. Azfar Moin (Texas): “Why Muslim Kings Worshipped the Sun: Islam and Cosmotheism”

12:00-1:30 p.m.                      Lunch

1:30-3:30 p.m.                        Session Two. Chair: Omar McRoberts

1:30-3:30 p.m.                        Philip Gorski (Yale): “America’s Three Political Theologies: A Genealogy and Critique”
2:30-3:30 p.m.                       Jan-Werner Müller (Princeton): “What was Christian Democracy? Reflections on a Peculiarity of Nineteenth and
Twentieth-Century European Politics”

3:30-4:00 p.m.                       Coffee

4:00-6:00 p.m.                       Session Three. Chair: John McCormick

4:00-5:00 p.m.                       Georges Tamer (Friedrich-Alexander Universtät Erlangen): “God and the State in Islam”
5:00-6:00 p.m.                       Thomas Meyer (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich): “Political Theology and Democracy. A Reexamination”

Learn more about The Working Group on Political Theology >>

 

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