A Secular Response to Political Messianism

Richard Beardsworth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


French thought’s concerns over the last 40 years with totality, telos and closure led it from the first to be concerned with the marking of excess within determination. Whether the specific determination has been individual or collective (the liberal subject, the nation-state, colonialism, and so on), ontological or ethical/political (the architectonic of reason, human rights, or capitalist formation) – the Levinasian other, the Derridean trace, the Lyotardian ‘sublime’, the Nancian ‘partage’, even the Deleuzian ‘nomadic’ open up each determination to others and to radical alterity as such. This marking of excess is predicated on the thinking of modern phenomenology, particularly Husserl and Heidegger’s temporalization of reason and form. During the 1970s and 1980s, however, it increasingly looked to both the aesthetic and the religious instance to theorize the non-conceptual, the non-programmable and the unconditioned. Given our topic, I concentrate here on the turn to the religious instance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitics to Come
Subtitle of host publicationPower, Modernity and the Messianic
EditorsArthur Bradley, Paul Fletcher
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4725-4948-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-8470-6315-1, 1847063152
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2014

Publication series

NameContinuum Studies in Religion and Political Culture
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing


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