Resisting Theology Part 2
This chapter charts the historical development of the relationship between religion and politics by beginning with the early modern formation of the State. The medieval and modern understanding of politics and religion was founded upon an underlying, animating concept of sovereignty. Understanding modernity as perpetual disintegration and renewal, this chapter takes politics to be the principal force behind disintegration and religion the principal force behind renewal or maintenance during this period. Religion develops in modernity into a private affair, still based on and inspired by sovereign power, as a way of ordering social life and maintaining a sense of meaning in a rapidly changing world. Our contemporary situation lies at the end of modernity, where this relationship between religion and politics has changed. In our time, resistance is the theological enacted politically. It is the expression of the theological—of desire for an alternate, less disappointing world—within the political sphere. This chapter ends with a description of the city as the site of subjunctive politics through discussions of Thomas Merton, David Harvey, and Michel de Certeau.