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Sovereignty and the SacredSecularism and the Political Economy of Religion$
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Robert A. Yelle

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226585451

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226585628.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 July 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Sovereignty and the Sacred
Author(s):

Robert A. Yelle

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226585628.003.0001

This chapter introduces the connection between sovereignty and the sacred as a way of reimagining the foundations of both polity and religion. Contemporary debates in political theory often ignore the evidence from history and anthropology that suggests that sovereignty, like the sacred as figured in many premodern religious traditions, can be disorderly or ambivalent. Sovereignty is commonly expressed in acts of founding violence, such as sacrifice; during festivals such as Carnival, when there occurs a temporary inversion of the social order; or in declarations of pardon such as the biblical Jubilee. Although such moments have arguably declined in a rule-obsessed modernity, they appear necessary for the legitimacy and justice of polity. This reinforces the urgency of a reenvisioning of sovereignty.

Keywords:   sovereignty, sacred, antinomianism, secularism, liberalism, sacrifice

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