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Document Details :

Title: Het zwijgen der theologen
Subtitle: Wijsgerige overwegingen over de politieke theologie
Author(s): TERPSTRA, Marin
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Theologie
Volume: 52    Issue: 4   Date: 2012   
Pages: 349-371
DOI: 10.2143/TVT.52.4.3203362

Abstract :
What does Plato’s introduction of the notion theology into a discussion on the foundation of a political order have to say to us today? First, it says that theology has other options than those that Christianity has shown us. Second, it tells us that the silence imposed on Christian theologians when it comes to public affairs need not apply to this Platonic theology. This political theology raises its own questions. They revert around the meaning and role of the founding narrative in society. That prompts us to distinguish between profane and sacred language, which, in its turn, elicits a question on what it means when a society relies on a ‘sacred text’. The article then turns to the idea that orientation toward a textual source is not the only social and political shape that a foundation narrative can take. The rejection of revelation (the core of the modern criticism of religion) only appears to put an end to political theology, because people turned a blind eye to the fact that it probably had less to do with truth than with respect. This twist toward the classical concept of pietas requires another approach to ‘sacred language’ as developed in Spinoza’s Theological Political Treatise. The essay’s conclusion identifies a research problem on the question of society’s religious dimension.

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