The Political Legitimacy of the Modern Age
This essay offers an essentially Foucauldean reading of the relation between religion, politics and revolution. Whereas Schmitt condemns the modern age as a politically derelict expression of the ruination of the theologico-political project of Christian Europe, the descent of sovereign politics into mere economy, the exemplification of which is liberalism, Blumenberg defends it as a reoccupation, via the affirmation of a Baconian form of human self-assertion, of the ruined space of Christian nominalism. This essay refuses the enframings offered classically by both Schmitt and Blumenberg. It maintains, instead, that the political problematic
of the modern age is distinguished neither by dereliction (Schmitt) nor reoccupation (Blumenberg), but by its radically heterogeneous difference from the theologicopolitical problematic of revealed religion; specifically that of the Christianity of the North Atlantic rim. The source of that radically heterogeneous difference lies in the difference between the spatio-temporal horizons of possibility and operability in which the problematisation of politics, rule and government takes place within each of these traditions. On the one hand, the time of creation and salvation, and on the other, the time of facticity and finitude.
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