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Cerella, Antonio (2012)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Languages: English
Types: Article
Jürgen Habermas's post-secular account is rapidly attracting attention in many fields as a theoretical framework through which to reconsider the role of religion in contemporary societies. This work seeks to go beyond Habermas's conceptualisation by placing the post-secular discourse within a broader genealogy of the relationships between space, religion, and politics. Drawing on the work of Carl Schmitt, the aim of this article is to contrast the artificial separation between private and public, religious and secular, state and church, and the logic of inclusion/exclusion on which modernity was established. Revisiting this genealogy is also crucial to illustrating, in light of Schmitt's political theory, the problems underlying Habermas's proposal, emphasising its hidden homogenising and universalist logic in an attempt to offer an alternative reflection on the contribution of religious and cultural pluralism within Western democracies.
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    • 3 Ju¨rgen Habermas, 'Notes on Post-Secular Society', New Perspectives Quarterly, 25:4 (2008), p. 20, emphasis in original.
    • 4 This is not the place for a discussion of the '(de)secularization debate' for which see the double special issue 'After Secularization', Hedgehog Review, 8:1/2 (2006). For a recent empirical analysis, see Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, Sacred and Secular. Religion and Politics Worldwide (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004).
    • 5 In contrast, see Habermas, 'Notes on Post-Secular', p. 17.
    • 6 Ibid., p. 21.
    • 7 See Charles Taylor et al., Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994).
    • 8 Ju¨rgen Habermas and Joseph Ratzinger, The Dialectic of Secularization. On Reason and Religion (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2006).
    • 9 Habermas, 'Notes on Post-Secular', p. 29.
    • 10 Ibid., p. 29. See also Ju¨rgen Habermas, 'On the Relations between the Secular Liberal State and Religion', in Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan (eds), Political Theologies. Public Religion in a Post-Secular World (New York: Fordham University Press, 2006), pp. 251-60.
    • 11 Habermas, 'Notes on Post-Secular', p. 28.
    • 12 Ibid., p. 29.
    • 13 See Fabio Petito and Pavlos Hatzopoulos (eds), Religion in International Relations: The Return from Exile (New York: Palgrave, 2003).
    • 14 See, for example, Bertrand Badie, La fin des territoires. Essai sur le de´sordre international et sur l'utilite´ sociale du respect (Paris: Fayard, 1995).
    • 15 For a discussion of other post-secular accounts, see Ola Sigurdson, 'Beyond Secularism? Towards a Post-Secular Political Theology', Modern Theology, 26:2 (2010), pp. 177-96.
    • 18 Plato, The Republic, V, 462b, trans. Tom Griffith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), p. 160.
    • 19 Ibid., VI, 500d, p. 205.
    • 20 See Giorgio de Santillana, The Origins of Scientific Thought. From Anaximander to Proclus. 600 B.C. to 500 A.D. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961).
    • 21 Carlo Galli, Political Spaces and Global War (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010), p. 9. See also Lewis Mumford, The City in History. Its Origins, Its Transformation, and Its Prospects (New York: Harcourt, 1989), pp. 94-157.
    • 22 Rene´ Girard, Violence and the Sacred, trans. Patrick Gregory (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1977), pp. 1-142.
    • 23 Carl Schmitt, Roman Catholicism and Political Form, ed. Gary L. Ulmen (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996 [orig. pub. 1923]), p. 19.
    • 24 Carl Schmitt, 'The Visibility of the Church: A Scholastic Consideration', in Roman Catholicism, p. 51.
    • 25 John 18:36.
    • 26 Schmitt, 'The Visibility', p. 56.
    • 27 In my reading of Schmitt I follow the important work by Carlo Galli, Genealogia della politica. Carl Schmitt e la crisi del pensiero politico moderno (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1996).
    • 28 As Schmitt put it: 'each time the forces of history cause a new breach, the surge of new energies brings new lands and new seas into the visual field of human awareness, the spaces of historical existence undergo a corresponding change. Hence, new criteria appear, alongside new dimensions of political and historical activity, new sciences, new social systems; nations are born or reborn. This redeployment may be so profound and so sudden that it alters not only man's outlook, standards and criteria, but also the very contents of the notion of space. It is in that context that one may talk of a spatial revolution. Actually, all important changes in history more often than not imply a new perception of space. The true core of the global mutation, political, economic and cultural, lies in it.' Carl Schmitt, Land and Sea, trans. Simona Draghici (Corvallis, OR: Plutarch Press, 1997 [orig. pub. 1954]), p. 29.
    • 29 Alexandre Koyre´, From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1957).
    • 30 Schmitt, Land and Sea, chap. 12. Galli, Political Spaces, pp. 16-20.
    • 31 Ibid., p. 17.
    • 32 Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (London: Routledge, 2010 [orig. pub. 1930]).
    • 33 Carl Schmitt, Political Theology II. The Myth of the Closure of any Political Theology (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010 [orig. pub. 1970]), p. 114, emphasis in original.
    • 34 'In the struggle of opposing interests and coalitions, absolute monarchy made the decision and thereby created the unity of the state.' Schmitt, Political Theology, pp. 48-9.
    • 35 Carl Schmitt, 'The Age of Neutralizations and Depoliticizations', trans. Matthias Konzett and John P. McCormick, The Concept of the Political, ed. George Schwab (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007 [orig. pub. 1932]), p. 89.
    • 36 Schmitt, Political Theology II, pp. 114-15. In contrast, see also Carl Schmitt, The Nomos of the Earth in the International Law of the Jus Publicum Europaeum, trans. Gary L. Ulmen (New York, NY: Telos Press, 2003 [orig. pub. 1950]), pp. 121-6.
    • 37 Gary L. Ulmen, Introduction, in Schmitt, Roman Catholicism, p. xvii.
    • 38 Schmitt emphasises the substantial difference between Repra¨sentation (the unity of the public sphere) and Vertretung (private subjectivities and interests into the public sphere) in this way: 'Representation is not a normative event, a process, and a procedure. It is, rather, something existential. To represent means to make an invisible being visible and present through a publicly present one. . . . Representation can occur only in the public sphere. There is no representation that occurs in secret and between two people, and no representation that would be a ''private matter''. In this regard, all concepts and ideas are excluded that are essentially part of the spheres of the private, of private law, and of the merely economic. . . . A parliament has representative character only so long as one believes that its actual activity lies in the public sphere.' Carl Schmitt, Constitutional Theory, trans. and ed. Jeffrey Seitzer (London: Duke University Press, 2008 [orig. pub. 1928]), pp. 242-3, emphasis in original.
    • 39 Schmitt, Roman Catholicism, pp. 7-8.
    • 40 Ibid., p. 21.
    • 41 Galli, Lo sguardo di Giano, p. 65. This is precisely the point that Habermas misses when he declares that his new post-secular genealogy 'renders futile the alternative presented by Carl Schmitt and Hans Blumenberg. In its political and spiritual forms, modernity is not a mere result of secularization' nor 'a mere separation from the theological heritage to which it remains in opposition'. Habermas, 'A Post-Secular World Society?', p. 6.
    • 42 Galli, Lo sguardo di Giano, p. 67.
    • 43 Schmitt, Political Theology II, p. 72.
    • 44 Schmitt, Political Theology, p. 36.
    • 45 See Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. G. A. J. Rogers and Karl Schuhmann, 2 vols (London: Continuum, 2005[orig. pub. 1651]), part II, chap. 29 (18-31), p. 256. In Hobbes's system, which according to Schmitt has conceptually 'completed' the Reformation, there is still openness to transcendence (even though this 'openness' to the sphere of the sacred is used instrumentally). See also Carl Schmitt, 'Die vollendete Reformation. Bemerkungen und Hinweise zu neuen Leviathan-Interpretationen', Der Staat. Zeitschrift fur Staatslehre, offentliches Recht und Verfassungsgeschichte, 4:1 (1965), pp. 51-69.
    • 46 Schmitt, Political Theology, p. 28 and 13.
    • 47 Ibid., p. 21.
    • 48 Ibid., p. 32.
    • 49 Ibid., p. 13.
    • 50 'In civitate constituta, legum naturae interpretatio non a doctoribus et scriptoribus moralis philosopiae dependent, sed ab authoritate civitatis. Doctrinae quidem verae esse possunt; sed authoritas, non veritas, facit legem'. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, sive de materia, forma, et postestate civitatis ecclesiasticae et civilis (Aalen: Scientia, 1961 [orig. pub. 1668]), p. 202. 'The Interpretation of Lawes of Nature, in a Commonwealth, dependeth not on the books of Morall Philosophy. The Authority of writers, without the Authority of the Common-wealth, maketh not their opinion Law, be they never so true.' Hobbes, Leviathan, part 2, chap. 26 (29-32), p. 218.
    • 51 Carl Schmitt, Der Begriff des Politischen. Text von 1932 mit einem Vorwort und drei Corollarien (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 1963), p. 122. A translation of Schmitt's account of 'Hobbes's crystal' is in Galli, Political Spaces, pp. 225-7.
    • 52 Carlo Galli, Lo sguardo di Giano. Saggi su Carl Schmitt (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2008), p. 21.
    • 53 Schmitt, The Nomos, p. 59ff.
    • 54 See Carl Schmitt, Die Tyrannei der Werte. Dritte, korrigierte Auflage (Berlin: Dunker & Humblot, 2011).
    • 55 Carl Schmitt, 'Ethic of State and Pluralistic State', in Chantal Mouffe (ed.), The Challenge of Carl Schmitt (London: Verso, 1999 [orig. pub. 1930]), p. 198.
    • 56 Carl Schmitt, Legality and Legitimacy, trans. Jeffrey Seitzer (London: Duke University Press, 2004 [orig. pub. 1932]).
    • 57 Schmitt, 'Ethic of State', p. 203.
    • 58 Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, p. 53.
    • 59 Schmitt, 'Ethic of State', pp. 196-7.
    • 60 Carl Schmitt, State, Movement, People. The Triadic Structure of the Political Unity, trans. Simona Draghici (Corvallis, OR: Plutarch Press, 2001 [orig. pub. 1933]). But more extensively, see Schmitt, Constitutional Theory, pp. 255-69.
    • 61 Max Weber, 'Politics as Vocation', From Max Weber, p. 78.
    • 62 Schmitt, Der Begriff des Politischen, p. 10.
    • 67 See Carl Schmitt, 'Three Possibilities for a Christian Conception of History', Telos, 147 (2009), pp. 167- 70.
    • 68 This perspective is developed by Galli, Political Spaces.
    • 69 See Ju¨rgen Habermas, The Postnational Constellation. Political Essays, ed. Max Pensky (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2001).
    • 70 Habermas, 'A Post-Secular World Society?', p. 9, emphasis in original.
    • 71 Habermas, 'A Post-Secular World Society?', p. 12.
    • 72 Chantal Mouffe, 'Carl Schmitt and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy', The Challenge of Carl Schmitt, p. 46.
    • 73 Gerard Delanty, 'Habermas and Occidental Rationalism: The Politics of Identity, Social Learning and the Cultural Limits of Moral Universalism', Sociological Theory, 15:1 (1998), p. 30.
    • 74 Schmitt, 'Ethic of State', p. 205.
    • 75 For a similar critique, see Michael Reder, 'How Far Can Reason and Faith Be Distinguished?', in Ju¨rgen Habermas et al., An Awareness of What is Missing. Faith and Reason in a Post-secular Age (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010), pp. 36-50.
    • 76 Albert O. Hirschman, Exit, Voice and Loyalty (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970).
    • 77 Ernst W. Bo¨ckenfo¨rde, 'The Rise of the State as a Process of Secularisation', State, Society and Liberty: Studies in Political Theory and Constitutional Law, trans. J. A. Underwood (New York: Berg, 1991), p. 44.
    • 78 Ju¨rgen Habermas, 'Prepolitical Foundations of the Democratic Constitutional State?', in Habermas and Ratzinger, The Dialectics of Secularization, p. 28.
    • 83 Karl Jaspers, The Perennial Scope of Philosophy, trans. Ralph Manheim (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1968), p. 94, emphasis added.
    • 84 Carlo Galli (ed.), Multiculturalismo. Ideologie e sfide (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2006), p. 15.
    • 92 Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy (London: Fontana Books, 1961 [orig. pub. 1946]), p. 9.
    • 93 See the magisterial work by Harold J. Berman, Faith and Order. The Reconciliation of Law and Religion (Atlanta: Scholar Press, 1993); and more recently, Paolo Prodi, Una storia della giustizia. Dal pluralismo dei fori al moderno dualismo tra coscienza e diritto (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2000).
    • 94 Schmitt, 'Ethic of State', p. 206.
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