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The Antinomian Sacred as a Political Category: Toward a Theory of Religion as Sovereignty

The Antinomian Sacred as a Political Category: Toward a Theory of Religion as Sovereignty

Chapter:
(p.9) 1 The Antinomian Sacred as a Political Category: Toward a Theory of Religion as Sovereignty
Source:
Sovereignty and the Sacred
Author(s):
Robert A. Yelle
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226585628.003.0002

Chapter 1 begins with the analogy between Rudolf Otto’s much maligned account of the holy as “wholly other,” and Carl Schmitt’s idea that the sovereign is similarly sui generis, as demonstrated by the power to suspend the legal order, a power formerly attributed to God. It then proceeds to trace the myth of founding violence that draws power from the antinomian nature of the holy while simultaneously quarantining this dangerous power into some remote past age, or to circumscribed moments in the festival calendar at which there occurs something like a return to primal chaos or unconstrained sovereignty.

Keywords:   Rudolf Otto, Carl Schmitt, sacred, sacrifice, violence, antinomianism, festival, state of nature, state of exception, transcendence

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