By Harald Wydra
This path-breaking booklet argues that practices of the sacred are constitutive of contemporary secular politics. Following a convention of enquiry in anthropology and political concept, it examines how restrict occasions form the political mind's eye and collective identification. As an experiential and cultural truth, the sacred emerges inside, and concurrently transcends, transgressive dynamics comparable to revolutions, wars or globalisation. instead of conceive the sacred as a spiritual doctrine or a metaphysical trust, Wydra examines its adaptive capabilities as origins, truths and order that are traditionally contingent throughout time and transformative of political aspirations. He means that the brokenness of political truth is an everlasting situation of humanity, so one can proceed to provide quests for the sacred, and transcendental political frames. operating within the spirit of the genealogical mode of enquiry, this e-book examines the secular resources of political theologies, the democratic sacred, the communist mind's eye, ecu political identification, the resources of human rights and the connection of victimhood to new wars.
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Additional info for Politics and the Sacred
The rise of modern philosophy brought down everything to the self, away from community and virtue (Arendt 1958: 285). More than a century prior to René Descartes, Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince Transforming the political imagination 37 argued that it would be dangerous to live by the imagination. Precisely because the people who prevail are ‘not good’, the ‘effectual truth’ changed the centre of gravity. According to Plato’s Republic and Gorgias, the pursuit of power and riches is not necessarily good or virtuous.
Knowledge (epistêmê) is seen as a liberation from ignorance, a process of ascent. Plato’s fundamental image, in The Laws, of the political leadership that moulds the totality of political phenomena with some vision of the Good is that of the ‘true lawgiver [who], like an archer, aims only at that on which some eternal beauty is always attending’ (Plato 1980: 706). Communal forms of political obligation are key to theories of politics. Political obligation cannot be limited to a rational pursuit of individual interest.
The world begins to shake in the very instant that its sustaining conversation begins to falter’ (Berger 1969: 22). The extraordinary ‘interrupts’ the routines of the profane world of measurement, visibility, and predictability. The extraordinary is masterfully grasped in the ﬁrst stanza of Yeats’s poem The Second Coming: Turning and turning in the widening gyre, The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
Politics and the Sacred by Harald Wydra