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The Kingdom and the Glory: For a Theological Genealogy of Economy and Government (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics) Kindle Edition
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Long out of philosophical fashion, Agamben blends these two insights. He returns to the key of the Trinity to unlock, in the vocabulary of Michel Foucault, current global economic governmentality. That Agamben evokes the Trinity as the origin of the problem is unsurprising but, unlike Foucault, who can see only oppression in the Christian tradition, Agamben opens a speculative window onto the radically liberationist side of the `economic' Trinity. I highly recommend this book, not only as a masterpiece by one of Europe's leading political thinkers, but as an overdue reconsideration of the potentialities of Trinitarian thought, tracing its lineage deep and long in the West.
The observation that power is split between absolute rule and governmental, popular complicity is not new. But the revelation that all politics is held in the inoperative economy between the two is THE political statement of our age. This is an explosive masterpiece of political philosophy masquerading as work of theological philology. It forms a major part of a trinity of recent works by Agamben which justify all the attention his work. Along with Signature of All Things and Sacrament of Language the Agambenian critique of the metaphysics of difference is complete: power, metaphysics, language. An immense achievement grounded in systematic philosophical deduction and faultless philological induction.
Agamben's answer - or at least the answer he finds in theology - is: by way of an economy. 'Economy' here understood not in the modern, narrow sense of 'distribution of goods', but in the wider sense of 'organization' and 'administration' (Agamben pretty much always uses the Greek spelling, 'oikonomia', to mark the difference). Central to the book's narrative then, is that the Christian doctrine of the trinity, in which God is at once unified and triune, and whose relations are organized by a divine oikonomia, is - in its formal functioning at least - at the core of today's apparatuses of modern government - including, perhaps especially so, democratic government.Read more ›