Apr 16 2017

Futures of Political Theology: Nomos, Demos, Pseudos

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An International Symposium at Kingston University

Keynote speaker: Elettra Stimilli (University of Rome La Sapienza)

Upon the occasion of some strange or deformed birth, it shall not be decided by Aristotle, or the philosophers, whether the same be a man or no, but by the laws - Thomas Hobbes, The Elements of Law Natural and Politic.

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? – W.B. Yeats, ‘The Second Coming’

What – strange, deformed, beastly – species of political order is struggling to be born today? To be sure, political praxis and theory has sought to narrate the history of the contemporary from the financial crash of 2008 to the election of Donald Trump in 2016 in many different and competing ways. In the early 21st century, we are said to be witnessing everything from the death of liberalism, globalization and internationalism to the birth of a new extreme populism, protectionism and isolationism – all presided over by a new kind of Demogorgon (people-monster).

Yet, what arguably makes our current crisis so difficult to name is that it is not merely a political crisis but a crisis of the political – of the particular triangulation between truth, authority and representation that has dominated politics since the early modern period. If we are experiencing a new set of constitutional crises in Europe, America and elsewhere – between executive, legislature and judiciary, between national and transnational sovereignty and more widely between representative and direct democracy – it is perhaps because they reflect a larger and more profound political dissensus about who or what – if anyone – has the authority to decide upon truth. In this sense, contemporary media controversies – ‘post-truth’, ‘fake news’, ‘alternative facts’ – are merely a symptom of a much deeper political ontological pathology where nomos, demos and pseudos meet and clash.

This international symposium gather together a group of distinguished interdisciplinary scholars – including philosophers, political theorists, theologians and cultural critics – to explore not simply the future of political theology but the political theology of the future. What can the conceptual resources of political theology – the messianic, the apocalyptic, the eschatological and so on – contribute to a re-thinking of the future? How might political theology intervene in, and re-imagine, our contemporary crises of truth, authority, representation, economy, populism and so on? What might a political theology of the 21st century look like?

Elettra Stimilli is Senior Research Fellow of theoretical philosophy at the Department of Philosophy at Sapienza University of Rome. She is also editor-in-chief of the series “Filosofia e Politica”, published by Quodlibet (Macerata). She is author of numerous essays that focus on the relationship between politics and religion, with particular attention to contemporary thought. Among her publications are Debito e colpa (2015) and the only existing monograph on Jacob Taubes: Jacob Taubes. Sovranità e tempo messianico (2004). She also translated into Italian and edited many works of this author, in particular Jacob Taubes, Der Preis des Messianismus: Briefe von Jacob Taubes an Gershom Scholem und andere Materialen (2006). Her new book The Debt of the Living. Ascesis and Capitalism (2017) has just been published by SUNY Press.

Speakers: Ward Blanton (University of Kent); Arthur Bradley (Lancaster University); Antonio Cerella (Kingston University); Michael Dillon (Lancaster University); Howard Caygill (Kingston University); Dario Gentile (University of Rome 3); Yvonne Sherwood (University of Kent); Tracy B. Strong (UCSD/University of Southampton); Richard Wilson (Kingston University)

9.00 am – 7.30 pm

2 June 2017

Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, John Galsworthy building, Room 003

For more information email: A.Cerella@kingston.ac.uk


Feb 6 2016

Roberto Esposito to give Northern Theory School Annual Public Lecture

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Rowman and Littlefield International Annual Public Lecture

‘The Dispositif of Person’

Roberto Esposito (Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy)

Roberto Esposito is Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Italy. Until 2013, he was Vice Director of the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane, Full Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, and the coordinator of the doctoral programme in Philosophy. For five years, he was the only Italian member of the International Council of Scholars of the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris. He is the author of many books including Communitas: The Origin and Destiny of Community (Stanford University Press, 2004), Bios: Biopolitics and Philosophy (Minnesota University Press, 2008), Immunitas: The Protection and Negation of Life (Polity Press, 2011), Third Person: Politics of Life and Philosophy of the Impersonal (Polity Press, 2012), Living Thought: The Origins and Actuality of Italian Philosophy (Stanford University Press, 2012) and Two: The Machine of Political Theology and the Place of Thought (Fordham University Press, 2015).

4.30 pm, 19th May 2016

Frankland Lecture Theatre

Faraday Building

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Lancaster University

This event is free and open to all but places are strictly limited. Please contact Arthur Bradley to reserve a place: a.h.bradley@lancaster.ac.uk


May 10 2014

Political Theology and Modernity: The Legacy of Carl Schmitt

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A One Day Research Symposium at Lancaster University with Professor William Rasch (Indiana University)

The Northern Theory School in conjunction with the Journal for Cultural Research (Taylor & Francis) and the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University is pleased to announce a one-day research symposium on Political Theology and Modernity: The Legacy of Carl Schmitt. Its keynote speaker will be Professor William Rasch (Indiana) and other speakers will include Agata Bielik-Robson (Nottingham), Michael Dillon (Lancaster) and Michael Hoelzl (Manchester). This event will be of interest to academics and graduate students interested in the legacy of Carl Schmitt, political theology and the relationship between religion and politics more widely.

William Rasch is Professor of Germanic Studies in the Department of Germanic Studies at Indiana University. He is the author of Niklas Luhmann’s Modernity: The Paradoxes of Differentiation (Stanford UP, 2001) and Sovereignty and its Discontents: On the Primacy of Conflict and the Structure of the Political (Birkbeck Law Press, 2004). He is Visiting Professor at Lancaster University in June 2014.

Monday 9th June 9. 30 am -5. 30 pm

Lecture Theatre 6, Management School

Lancaster University

This event is free and open to all but space is limited. In order to register, please contact Laurence Hemming (l.p.hemming@lancaster.ac.uk) or Arthur Bradley (a.h.bradley@lancaster.ac.uk).


Jan 24 2014

Walter Benjamin: All Shades of Gnosis

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A workshop with Professor Agata Bielik-Robson (University of Nottingham) on political theology, divine violence and tragedy in the thought of Benjamin.

Agata Bielik-Robson is Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Nottingham. She has published widely in all areas of Jewish philosophy with special emphasis paid on modern Jewish thought, from Spinoza to Derrida. She also researches contemporary philosophy and psychoanalysis, particularly when in a dialogue (or polemic) with theology. This workshop will be of benefit to Benjamin scholars (or those curious about his work) across a spectrum of disciplines: critical theory, philosophy, theology, art history, literature and beyond.

Friday 28th February, 3.00-5.30 pm

Leeds Humanities Research Institute, 29-31 Clarendon Place

University of Leeds

In order to reserve a place, please contact Stefan Skrimshire (s.skrimshire@leeds.ac.uk).

This event is hosted by the Quilting Points reading group at the University of Leeds and the Northern Theory School. It is generously supported by the Leeds Humanities Research Institute.

 


Jan 2 2014

Howard Caygill on Sovereignty

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ArcanumThe Secret Life of the State’

Howard Caygill (Kingston University) 

Howard Caygill is Professor of Modern European Philosophy in the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University. His most recent book is On Resistance: A Philosophy of Defiance (Bloomsbury, 2013).

Respondent: Professor Maja Zehfuss (University of Manchester)

5 pm, Tuesday 18th February

County Main Seminar Room 1

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Lancaster University

In order to reserve a place, please contact Arthur Bradley: a.h.bradley@lancaster.ac.uk