In this book, Paul Kahn argues that political theology—as first defined by Schmitt—is not only a “polemical” discourse but also designates a legitimate field of study that can be approached “scientifically,” and that has its own “methodology,” namely, a sociology of concepts. Kahn himself understands political theology as a phenomenological description of “the political.” Additionally, Kahn suggests that liberal democracy may have, or may stand in need of, a political theology of its own. Although I am sympathetic to both proposals, in my opinion this book does justice to neither, and I fear the editor may have overstated the facts by claiming, in the interior jacket cover, that this study of Schmitt and political theology is a “strikingly original work.”Read the rest of Political theology or political hierophany.
Miguel Vatter is Professor of Political Science at the Universidad Diego Portales, Chile. He is the author of Between Form and Event: Machiavelli's Theory of Political Freedom and editor of Crediting God: Sovereignty and Religion in the Age of Global Capitalism. He is currently completing a book on Leo Strauss and political theology.