Political Theology and the Politics of Time
My ‘Postsecular History’ book project seeks to revisit and revise the theological and political character of periodization by tracing powerful efforts to divide time into past, present, and future, and by critiquing political partitions of history into the Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and Postmodern. In it I develop a critique of theopolitical periodization, specifically concerning the proclamation of novelty and succession in the prefix ‘post’ that precedes the ‘postsecular.’
My work is based on the notion that contemporary approaches to both the meaning of history and the experience of passing time continue to follow patterns that are simultaneously political and theological. Even after the postsecular turn and its critiques of Christianity, religion, and secularity, divisions of historical and autobiographical time continue to be formed by providential narratives that mediate experience and expectation and economize time through movements from promise to fulfilment.
In light of the persistently theological characteristics of time and history, this project recasts the politics of time in terms provided by political theology by revisiting debates in the historiography of the Radical Reformation (Political Theology, 2018) and early Enlightenment (Studies in Religion, 2017), re-examining the politics of autobiographical periodization in Nietzsche and Augustine (Telos, 2019), and investigating the technological mediations of time in postmodernity (rhizomes, 2018).