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Political Theology: The Authority of God

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Abstract:

In this article, I will explore an idea of authority as depicted by a religious picture (note the indefinite article). It is a picture, not the picture. It is the picture of God as the supreme decision maker without him being a deliberator. I shall call it the decisionist picture of God. His authority is based on his absolute will unhindered by any laws and rules and in particular by any laws of morality. One may call the decisionist picture of God a fascist picture of God. This is perhaps abusive but not inaccurate. 'That there must be', in the language of the 18th century Blackstone, 'a supreme, irresistible, absolute, and uncontrolled authority, in which the … right of sovereignty resides', is the idea and ideal that I am interested in. Pompously put, it is the genealogy of authority that I am interested in.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/004058105780929237

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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