The Future of Illusion
Political Theology and Early Modern Texts
Kahn draws on theorists such as Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, Walter Benjamin, and Hannah Arendt and their readings of Shakespeare, Hobbes, Machiavelli, and Spinoza to illustrate that the dialogue between these modern and early modern figures can help us rethink the contemporary problem of political theology. Twentieth-century critics, she shows, saw the early modern period as a break from the older form of political theology that entailed the theological legitimization of the state. Rather, the period signaled a new emphasis on a secular notion of human agency and a new preoccupation with the ways art and fiction intersected the terrain of religion.
1 Hamlet or Hecuba: Carl Schmitt’s Decision
2 Sacred Kingship and Political Fiction: Ernst Kantorowicz, Carl Schmitt, Ernst Cassirer, and Walter Benjamin
3 Machiavelli and Modernity: Leo Strauss, Carl Schmitt, and Ernst Cassirer
4 Spinoza and Liberal Culture: Leo Strauss, Carl Schmitt, and Hannah Arendt
5 Freud’s Spinoza/Freud’s Illusions