Pure politics and religion and the potentiality not-to-be

Pusterla, Elia R.G. (2020) Pure politics and religion and the potentiality not-to-be. Political Theology, 21 (8). pp. 667-686.

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The religious dimension is increasingly at the centre of political claims from individual citizens and collective actors and puts pressure on liberal democracies asserting the separation of politics and religion. The liberal principle of neutrality allows tracing ontological and normative differences between what is and ought to be properly political and religious. Politics would have the potentiality not-to-be religious and keep itself in a space of indifference to what religious. Better understanding the implications of such political theory in which the political man is called to actuate a (pure) politics raises ontological questions. Mainly, does (pure) politics provide a neutral third position in respect to religion where politics is not subject to any exclusive-inclusive logic such as in the exception? This question is addressed through the notion of potentiality as respectively treated by Agamben and Derrida and placed in the context of the political decision in Schmitt’s theory of sovereignty

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