Cover image for Political theology : four chapters on the concept of sovereignty
Title:
Political theology : four chapters on the concept of sovereignty
Author:
Schmitt, Carl, 1888-1985.
ISBN:
9780226738895
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Politische Theologie. English
Edition:
University of Chicago Press ed.
Publication Information:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2005.
Physical Description:
lii, 70 p. ; 21 cm.
General Note:
Translation of Politische Theologie.

Originally published: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c1985 in series: Studies in contemporary German social thought.
Contents:
Definition of sovereignty -- The problem of sovereignty as the problem of the legal form and of the decision -- Political theology -- On the counterrevolutionary philosophy of the state (de Maistre, Bonald, Donoso Cortés).
Abstract:
Written in the intense political and intellectual tumult of the early years of the Weimar Republic, this book develops the distinctive theory of sovereignty that made Carl Schmitt one of the most significant and controversial political theorists of the 20th century. The book concludes with a critique of liberalism.
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Summary

Summary

Written in the intense political and intellectual tumult of the early years of the Weimar Republic, Political Theology develops the distinctive theory of sovereignty that made Carl Schmitt one of the most significant and controversial political theorists of the twentieth century.

Focusing on the relationships among political leadership, the norms of the legal order, and the state of political emergency, Schmitt argues in Political Theology that legal order ultimately rests upon the decisions of the sovereign. According to Schmitt, only the sovereign can meet the needs of an "exceptional" time and transcend legal order so that order can then be reestablished. Convinced that the state is governed by the ever-present possibility of conflict, Schmitt theorizes that the state exists only to maintain its integrity in order to ensure order and stability. Suggesting that all concepts of modern political thought are secularized theological concepts, Schmitt concludes Political Theology with a critique of liberalism and its attempt to depoliticize political thought by avoiding fundamental political decisions.


Table of Contents

Tracy B. StrongGeorge Schwab
Forewordp. vii
Introductionp. xxxvii
Preface to the Second Edition (1934)p. 1
1 Definition of Sovereigntyp. 5
2 The Problem of Sovereignty as the Problem of the Legal Form and of the Decisionp. 16
3 Political Theologyp. 36
4 On the counterrevolutionary philosophy of the statede Maistre, Bonald, Donoso Cortés