Politics and the Sacred

Przednia okładka
Cambridge University Press, 30 kwi 2015 - 264
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This path-breaking book argues that practices of the sacred are constitutive of modern secular politics. Following a tradition of enquiry in anthropology and political theory, it examines how limit situations shape the political imagination and collective identity. As an experiential and cultural fact, the sacred emerges within, and simultaneously transcends, transgressive dynamics such as revolutions, wars or globalisation. Rather than conceive the sacred as a religious doctrine or a metaphysical belief, Wydra examines its adaptive functions as origins, truths and order which are historically contingent across time and transformative of political aspirations. He suggests that the brokenness of political reality is a permanent condition of humanity, which will continue to produce quests for the sacred, and transcendental political frames. Working in the spirit of the genealogical mode of enquiry, this book examines the secular sources of political theologies, the democratic sacred, the communist imagination, European political identity, the sources of human rights and the relationship of victimhood to new wars.

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Spis treści

The extraordinary and the political imagination
The politics of transcendence
Secular sources of political theologies
Democracy and the sacred
communism and beyond
Generations of European imaginations
The spell of humanity
Victims and new wars
rationalities of the sacred
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Informacje o autorze (2015)

Harald Wydra is a Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge. He has previously taught political science at the University of Regensburg, held visiting fellowships at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris) and the National University of Australia (Canberra), and was Visiting Professor at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre-La Défense. He is the founding Editor of the journal International Political Anthropology and his books include Continuities in Poland's Permanent Transition (2001), Communism and the Emergence of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Democracy and Myth in Russia and Eastern Europe (2008, co-edited with Alexander Wöll) and Breaking Boundaries: Varieties of Liminality (2015, co-edited with Agnes Horvath and Bjørn Thomassen).

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