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Total Religion:

Total Religion:

Politics, Monotheism, and Violence

Chapter:
(p.113) 7 Total Religion
Source:
From Akhenaten to Moses
Author(s):
Jan Assmann
Publisher:
American University in Cairo Press
DOI:10.5743/cairo/9789774166310.003.0008

In his The Concept of the Political (1928/1932), Carl Schmitt (in)famously defined the political as based on the distinction between friend and foe, which is hidden in everyday life and is revealed as the organizing social principle only under the conditions of “Ernstfall” (case of emergency). Only then does the political exert a totalizing hegemony over the other cultural spheres such as art, law, science, economy, and religion. The same argument applies to religion: under the conditions of “Ernstfall,” which in this case is apocalyptics, religion becomes “total” and exerts a hegemonic claim on all other cultural spheres.

Keywords:   religion, politics, violence, totalitarianism

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