Democracy and the Divine. The phenomenon of political romanticism.

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Alexandra AIDLER
Lexington books

Democracy and the Divine

The Phenomenon of Political Romanticism

Alexandra Aidler

Advancing the thesis that a contract between the political members of a community must lead to the highest form of social inclusion, Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651) has provided the groundwork for democracies around the world. Yet, Hobbes also states that this contract can only be upheld by a strong sovereign whose authority is derived from God. How can a democracy be defined, then, as truly inclusive when it essentially grows out of a theocracy that thinks about human beings in terms of “reduction”?

Democracy and the Divine: The Phenomenon of Political Romanticism Alexandra Aidler argues that despite modern democracy’s problematic heritage, one should not abandon its claims to religion. Articulating a democracy that is based on the religious principle of giving oneself to another, Aidler develops a political theology of democracy that is built upon two traditions in political thought that have rarely been examined thus far side by side for their contributions to this field: German Romanticism, as exemplified by Franz von Baader and Friedrich Schlegel, and the “theological turn” in French philosophy, as represented by Jacques Derrida and Jacques Rancière.
 Kevin Hart, Edwin B. Kyle Professor of Christian Studies, University of VirginiaAlexandra Aidler’s Democracy and the Divine sets new standards in political theology for comprehensiveness, rigor, and sheer philosophical insight. This is an essential book, one that no student of philosophy, religion or politics can safely overlook. It will be decades before this book is surpassed.