There can be little doubt that, over the last decade or so, the work of Carl Schmitt has emerged as a central point of reference, in both positive and negative terms, for many debates within contemporary political theory. Despite Schmitt's notoriously controversial and complex position within the intellectual field of modern political thought, a growing interest, for instance, in his critique of parliamentary democracy and his conceptualization of partisan warfare can be felt not only among political movements with revolutionary (...) agendas, but it can also easily be observed in main-stream political thought on both sides of the Atlantic.1 With the…. (shrink)
Developing countries face numerous barriers to conducting effective and efficient ethics reviews of international collaborative research. In addition to potentially overlooking important scientific and ethical considerations, inadequate or insufficiently trained ethics committees may insist on unwarranted changes to protocols that can impair a study's scientific or ethical validity. Moreover, poorly functioning review systems can impose substantial delays on the commencement of research, which needlessly undermine the development of new interventions for urgent medical needs. In response to these concerns, the Drugs (...) for Neglected Diseases Initiative, an independent nonprofit organization founded by a coalition of public sector and international organizations, developed a mechanism to facilitate more effective and efficient host country ethics review for a study of the use of fexinidazole for the treatment of late stage African Trypanosomiasis. The project involved the implementation of a novel ‘pre-review’ process of ethical oversight, conducted by an ad hoc committee of ethics committee representatives from African and European countries, in collaboration with internationally recognized scientific experts. This article examines the process and outcomes of this collaborative process. (shrink)
This paper suggests an alternative reading of Practice in Christianity to Merold Westphal’s interpretation of the text as defining what he calls “religiousness C.” Attending closely to the rhetorical construction of Practice, and situating it in the context of Kierkegaard’s intensive reading of Luther late in his life, I argue that this text extends the Postscript’s meditation on inwardness and writing to one of the central theological constructs of Lutheranism, the distinction between law and gospel. On my reading, Practice both (...) defends the primacy of faith and grace within Christianity, and refuses their commodification into directly communicable results. At the end of this paper, I consider Kierkegaard’s seeming retraction, in 1855, of two rhetorical features of Practice that my reading emphasizes. Iconclude that this gesture in fact intensifies Kierkegaard’s appropriation of the law/gospel paradigm, and speaks to the impossibility of any direct, comprehensive, and final account of authentic Christian life. (shrink)
C’est grâce à son essai Politische Romantik, publié en 1919, que Carl Schmitt fait une entrée remarquée sur la scène intellectuelle allemande. L’ouvrage se présente comme une charge systématique et radicale contre la tradition allemande du « romantisme politique », et fut vivement discuté dans les années qui suivirent sa publication. Mais aujourd’hui il se trouve relégué parmi les œuvres de jeunesse de Schmitt et reste rarement étudié par la recherche, qui le lit au mieux comme une belle contribution (...) à l’histoire culturelle du xixe siècle.Pourtant, une étude approfondie de l’essai, ainsi que du contexte historique dans lequel il s’insère, fait apparaître que ce n’est pas dans une telle perspective que Politische Romantik manifeste toute sa portée : bien plus qu’une étude historique, cet essai constitue un élément de réponse à la crise du conservatisme allemand tel qu’il apparaît dans l’après-guerre. Le rejet du « romantisme politique » marque la rupture de Schmitt avec l’idéal « apolitique » des intellectuels allemands de l’époque, et par là constitue le premier moment du projet schmittien, tel qu’il se verra développé de manière croisée dans son étude sur le catholicisme et sa Théologie politique. (shrink)
ExcerptCarl Schmitt's recently translated Constitutional Theory (Verfassungslehre), first published in 1928 at the end of a period of relative stability in Weimar Germany, is a strangely timely work—both with regard to the continued relevance of the themes and problems it discusses and with regard to the current state of scholarship about Weimar constitutionalism. But, first things first, as befits what was originally intended as a short review article: The translation is accurate, even though it was occasionally necessary to break down (...) Schmitt's legal Germanicisms into more manageable English syntax. The long introduction, jointly written by Jeffrey Seitzer and Christopher Thornhill,…. (shrink)
The Cross, for Zizek, reveals God facing up to his own impotence, but further, because God is Christ, the crucifixion demonstrates a gesture of atheism, or asG.K. Chesterton put it “God seemed for an instant to be an atheist.”.
Today, every attempt at a self-understanding ultimately proves to be a situating oneself by means of the philosophy of history or a utopian self-dislocation. Today, all human beings who plan and attempt to unite the masses behind their plans engage in some form of philosophy of history. They accept the existence of the means of extermination, which modern science provides to every person in power. But the question as to what kind of people these means are to be reasonably applied (...) to is obviously no natural scientific question. For a long time now, it is also no longer a moral…. (shrink)
Abstinence from meat has been a subject of much controversy and friction from the dawn of Christian history. Relatively widespread in the early Church, it was praised when it formed part of a temporary ascetic fasting regimen, but condemned if it amounted to a permanent rejection of animal flesh, as it would be associated with heretical ideas found in various dissident groups, gnostic sects, and pagan philosophical schools. Nevertheless, several patristic authors put forth a number of compelling arguments in (...) defense of a meatless diet, all of which would be revisited by future generations of Christian thinkers. Laying the emphasis upon the ethical incentives for abstaining from animal flesh, as well as upon enduring ambivalent attitudes toward vegetarian dietary practices, this article offers a brief overview of abstinence from meat throughout Christian history. (shrink)
The absoluteness of Christianity is a predicate of the God of the eschatological kingdom proclaimed by Jesus, a kingdom embracing the power of a universal future which also includes the entire sweep of the history of religions.
In the middle of the eighteenth century, Carl von Linné, Johann Christoph Gatterer, and Christian Wilhelm Büttner attempted to realize the old idea of deciphering the alphabet of the world, which Francis Bacon had raised as a general postulate of science. This article describes these attempts and their interrelations. Linné used the model of the alphabet to classify plants according to the characters of this fruiting body. Gatterer, one of the leading German historians during the Enlightenment, adopted the (...) botanical method of classification by genus and species to classify the history of scripts. He used the forms of the alphabetic characters to measure the age of manuscripts and to map the process of history as a genealogy of culture. Gatterer collaborated closely with Büttner, the first Göttingen professor of natural history. Büttner constructed a general alphabet of languages which connected the phonetics of language with the historically known alphabets. Early on, diplomatics and ethnography combined the natural order of natural history and the cultural order of the alphabet with the attempt to register development and to document development by the evolution of forms. Based on the shared model of the alphabet and on the common necessity to classify their empirical material, natural history and the description of culture were related attempts in the middle of the eighteenth century to comprehend the alphabetically organized nature and a naturally ordered culture. (shrink)
In western cultures, when it comes to places of worship and liturgies, music, acoustics and architecture go hand in hand. In the present study, we aimed to investigate whether the emotions evoked by music are enhanced by the acoustics of the space where the music was composed to be played on. We explored whether the emotional responses of western naïve listeners to two vocal pieces from the Renaissance, one liturgical and one secular, convolved with the impulse responses of four (...) class='Hi'>Christian temples from the United Kingdom, were modulated by the appropriate piece/space matching. In an alternative forced choice task where participants had to indicate their preference for the original recording of the piece vs. the convolved one, no significant differences were found. However, in the tasks where participants rated their emotional in response to each piece and acoustic condition, the factorial ANCOVA analyses performed on the results revealed significant effects. We observed that, across pieces and spaces, participants found the temple-like acoustics as more transcendent, compared to the acoustics of the original version of the pieces. In addition, they rated the secular piece as more tender and the liturgical piece as more expressive in its original versions, compared to the convolved ones. We conclude that the acoustic signature of the four Christian temples causes an exaltation of certain emotions on listeners, although this effect is not associated to one or another musical piece. (shrink)
A philosopher, rabbi, religious historian, and Gnostic, Jacob Taubes was for many years a correspondent and interlocutor of Carl Schmitt, a German jurist, philosopher, political theorist, law professor -- and self-professed Nazi. Despite their unlikely association, Taubes and Schmitt shared an abiding interest in the fundamental problems of political theology, believing the great challenges of modern political theory were ancient in pedigree and, in many cases, anticipated the works of Judeo-Christian eschatologists. In this collection of Taubes's writings on (...) Schmitt, the two intellectuals work through ideas of the apocalypse and other central concepts of political theology. Taubes acknowledges Schmitt's reservations about the weakness of liberal democracy yet distances himself from his prescription to rectify it, arguing the apocalyptic worldview requires less of a rigid hierarchical social ordering than a community committed to the importance of decision making. In these writings, a sharper and more nuanced portrait of Schmitt's thought emerges, as well as a more complicated understanding of Taubes, who has shaped the work of Giorgio Agamben, Peter Sloterdijk, and other major twentieth-century theorists. (shrink)