03.07.2019 · 09.30 Uhr

Political Theology: Disciplined and Undisciplined

Ort: ZfL, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, Aufgang B, 3. Et., Seminarraum 303
Organisiert von Karma Ben Johanan (Van Leer Jerusalem), Kirill Chepurin (HU Berlin/Higher School of Economics Moscow), Alex Dubilet (Vanderbilt), Nitzan Lebovic (Lehigh), Vincent Lloyd (Villanova), Daniel Weidner (ZfL)

No longer merely a Schmittean or a Christian project, political theology today cuts across a diverse spectrum of traditions and discourses. Law (nomos), sovereignty, legitimation and delegitimation, the question of authority and the problem of evil, transfers, interruptions and structural conjunctions between religious and secular – such questions, located at the heart of emerging forms of political theology, cannot, it seems, be confined to strict disciplinary limits. This two-day workshop seeks to interrogate the disciplinary status of the diverse approaches that go by the name »political theology,« and the extent to which political theology can or should be (un)disciplined.

How is political theology understood, used, or criticized in various disciplinary contexts, and what might it mean for political theology to name a discipline? What is gained – and what is lost – in looking at the political-theological problematic through the lens of a particular discipline (or nexus of disciplines)? How is the discourse of political theology transformed or mutated, or its focus shifted, when refracted through the disciplinary lens? Alternatively, how can political theology be named and practiced outside or across its established uses, dominant modes, and disciplinary divisions? Can these divisions themselves be interrogated through the political-theological discourse and problematic? What are some of the alternative, neglected, subversive ways of saying »political theology,« untethered from the ways in which the term has been used – and to what ends should this name be spoken?



  • Daniel Weidner (ZfL), Vincent Lloyd (Villanova): Introduction

10–12 Session 1
Conveners: Norman Ajari (Villanova), Sebastian Truskolaski (Dublin)

  • Daniel Barber (Pace, New York): Incommensuration and Worldliness
  • Alex Dubilet (Vanderbilt): Subjection, Individuation, Reproduction
  • Elettra Stimilli (Rome): Political Theology or Political Spirituality?

1.30–3.30 Session 2
Conveners Linn Tonstad (Yale), Kirill Chepurin (HU Berlin/Moscow)

  • Karma Ben Johanan (Van Leer, Jerusalem): Measuring Power on Theological Scales: Maimonidean Readings in Israel
  • Méadhbh McIvor (Groningen): »The Most Profound Effect«: An Ethnography of Personal/Political Theology
  • Daniel Weidner (ZfL): Irregular Addresses, Excessive Metaphors: The Rhetoric of Political Theology

4–6 Session 3
Conveners: Julie Cooper (Tel Aviv), Majid Daneshgar (Freiburg)

  • Nitzan Lebovic (Lehigh): Prophetic Politics as Radical Critique
  • Yemima Hadad (Potsdam): Martin Buber’s Dialogical History: A Theopolitical Critique of the History of Power
  • Assaf Tamari (Van Leer, Jerusalem): Sanctifying the Name of God: Reflections on the Holy Tongue and Its Political Theology