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Political spirituality: the devils, possession, and truth-telling

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/03/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Cultural Politics
Issue number1
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)18-35
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The article thematizes the difference between superstition and faith through an allegorical double reading of social theory and Ken Russell’s film The Devils. It discusses the political implications of this difference, contrasting the function of “love of God” in mysticism and in the governmental economy of the church. Crucially, love is originally a universal, immanent impulse, which is captured by religion. But if religion is an apparatus of capture, then the profanation of this universal core is possible. Religion cannot fully appropriate or exhaust the virtual potentiality of faith. By the same token, it becomes possible to distinguish religion and faith. Not all faith is religion and not all religion is faithful. The article draws on Foucault, discussing the possibility of a “political spirituality” outside the religious domain, as a profane, modern political gesture that cannot be reduced to theological notions. Finally, it turns to the relationship between political spirituality and political strategy.