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From Akhenaten to MosesAncient Egypt and Religious Change$
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Jan Assmann

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166310

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166310.001.0001

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Total Religion:

Total Religion:

Politics, Monotheism, and Violence

(p.113) 7 Total Religion
From Akhenaten to Moses

Jan Assmann

American University in Cairo Press

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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