Book Event Announcement: Thomas J. Lynch’s Apocalyptic Political Theology: Hegel, Taubes, Malabou

For our next book event we will be reading and discussing Thomas J. Lynch’s Apocalyptic Political Theology: Hegel, Taubes, Malabou. We have gathered a number of AUFS regulars and new faces to examine with Thomas the themes explored in his book. The book has recently been published in paperback and we encourage you to get a copy from your local bookseller or online retailer and read along with us. The schedule and book description are below.

Monday, July 13th: Anthony Paul Smith (introductory post)
Wednesday, July 15th: Adam Kotsko
Friday, July 17th: Ole Jakob Løland
Monday, July 20th: Marika Rose
Wednesday, July 22nd: Joel Kuhlin
Friday, July 25th: Alana Vincent
Monday, July 27th: Ulrich Schmiedel
Wednesday, July 19th: Response from Thomas J. Lynch

Hegel’s philosophy of religion contains an implicit political theology. When viewed in connection with his wider work on subjectivity, history and politics, this political theology is a resource for apocalyptic thinking. In a world of climate change, inequality, oppressive gender roles and racism, Hegel can be used to theorise the hope found in the end of that world.

Histories of apocalyptic thinking draw a line connecting the medieval prophet Joachim of Fiore and Marx. This line passes through Hegel, who transforms the relationship between philosophy and theology by philosophically employing theological concepts to critique the world. Jacob Taubes provides an example of this Hegelian political theology, weaving Christianity, Judaism and philosophy to develop an apocalypticism that is not invested in the world. Taubes awaits the end of the world knowing that apocalyptic destruction is also a form of creation. Catherine Malabou discusses this relationship between destruction and creation in terms of plasticity. Using plasticity to reformulate apocalypticism allows for a form of apocalyptic thinking that is immanent and materialist.

Together Hegel, Taubes and Malabou provide the resources for thinking about why the world should end. The resulting apocalyptic pessimism is not passive, but requires an active refusal of the world.

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