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  • 2017AlmeidaPhD

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The sacralization of time: contemporary affinities between crisis and fascism

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2017
Number of pages245
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This thesis investigates how crisis relates to fascism by taking into account the role of desire and salvation in response to a situation of crisis. This thesis argues that, in desiring salvation, human experience of time, as crisis, resolves itself into two forms of fascism - ideological and molecular - and two forms of crisis - as a temporality of decision or/and as a temporality of indecision. The relation between crisis and fascism is mainly analysed in the light of three historical periods of crisis in Portugal’s contemporary history: the advent of the financial dictatorship (1926), the Carnation Revolution (1974 to 1975) and the financial bailout (2011). These historical periods are further contextualized on the macro and micro-levels, dialoguing with other empirical material that goes beyond the spatial and temporal delimitations of Portugal as a nation-state. In methodological terms, the thesis aims at exploring analogical inferences between examples by recovering the concept of signature as its method of analysis. The idea of using the concept of signature as a method entails seeing how examples produce affinities with each other and how they are displaced from one semantic field to another as well as how they create unpredictable analogies between them. Thus, the thesis explores possible analogies between the examples by means of the signatures of sacralization and profanation: while sacralization concerns the move of concepts, objects and bodies from the earthly, profane sphere to the theological and sacred sphere, profanation implies exactly the opposite movement. The two signatures structurally organize the thesis in two parts: while the first part consists in showing how crisis sacralizes the human experience of time, the second part points towards the profanatory praxis of crisis as a salvific temporality.