Sacred Violence

Torture, Terror, and Sovereignty

Author: Paul W Kahn

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 0472022946

Category: Philosophy

Page: 248

View: 1824

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In Sacred Violence, the distinguished political and legal theorist Paul W. Kahn investigates the reasons for the resort to violence characteristic of premodern states. In a startling argument, he contends that law will never offer an adequate account of political violence. Instead, we must turn to political theology, which reveals that torture and terror are, essentially, forms of sacrifice. Kahn forces us to acknowledge what we don't want to see: that we remain deeply committed to a violent politics beyond law. Paul W. Kahn is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities at Yale Law School and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights. Cover Illustration: "Abu Ghraib 67, 2005" by Fernando Botero. Courtesy of the artist and the American University Museum.
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Political Theology

Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty

Author: Paul W. Kahn

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231153414

Category: Philosophy

Page: 207

View: 4379

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In this strikingly original work, Paul W. Kahn rethinks the meaning of political theology. In a text innovative in both form and substance, he describes an American political theology as a secular inquiry into ultimate meanings sustaining our faith in the popular sovereign. Kahn works out his view through an engagement with Carl Schmitt's 1922 classic, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty. He forces an engagement with Schmitt's four chapters, offering a new version of each that is responsive to the American political imaginary. The result is a contemporary political theology. As in Schmitt's work, sovereignty remains central, yet Kahn shows how popular sovereignty creates an ethos of sacrifice in the modern state. Turning to law, Kahn demonstrates how the line between exception and judicial decision is not as sharp as Schmitt led us to believe. He reminds readers that American political life begins with the revolutionary willingness to sacrifice and that both sacrifice and law continue to ground the American political imagination. Kahn offers a political theology that has at its center the practice of freedom realized in political decisions, legal judgments, and finally in philosophical inquiry itself.
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Keeping Hold of Justice

Encounters between Law and Colonialism

Author: Jennifer Balint,Julie Evans,Nesam McMillan,Mark McMillan

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 0472131680

Category: Political Science

Page: 218

View: 2899

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Keeping Hold of Justice focuses on a select range of encounters between law and colonialism from the early nineteenth century to the present. It emphasizes the nature of colonialism as a distinctively structural injustice, one which becomes entrenched in the social, political, legal, and discursive structures of societies and thereby continues to affect people’s lives in the present. It charts, in particular, the role of law in both enabling and sustaining colonial injustice and in recognizing and redressing it. In so doing, the book seeks to demonstrate the possibilities for structural justice that still exist despite the enduring legacies and harms of colonialism. It puts forward that these possibilities can be found through collaborative methodologies and practices, such as those informing this book, that actively bring together different disciplines, peoples, temporalities, laws and ways of knowing. They reveal law not only as a source of colonial harm but also as a potential means of keeping hold of justice.
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The Jurisprudence of Emergency

Colonialism and the Rule of Law

Author: Nasser Hussain

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 0472037536

Category: History

Page: 210

View: 7560

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The Jurisprudence of Emergency examines British rule in India from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century, tracing tensions between the ideology of liberty and government by law used to justify the colonizing power's insistence on a regime of conquest. Nasser Hussain argues that the interaction of these competing ideologies exemplifies a conflict central to all Western legal systems—between the universal, rational operation of law on the one hand and the absolute sovereignty of the state on the other. The author uses an impressive array of historical evidence to demonstrate how questions of law and emergency shaped colonial rule, which in turn affected the development of Western legality. The pathbreaking insights developed in The Jurisprudence of Emergency reevaluate the place of colonialism in modern law by depicting the colonies as influential agents in the interpretation of Western ideas and practices. Hussain's interdisciplinary approach and subtly shaded revelations will be of interest to historians as well as scholars of legal and political theory.
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Constitutional Violence

Author: Antoni Abat i Ninet

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

ISBN: 074867537X

Category: True Crime

Page: 192

View: 4291

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Western political systems tend to be 'constitutional democracies', dividing the system into a domain of politics, where the people rule, and a domain of law, set aside for a trained elite. Antoni Abat i Ninet strives to resolve these apparently exclusive
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Out of Eden

Adam and Eve and the Problem of Evil

Author: Paul W. Kahn

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691148120

Category: Bibles

Page: 232

View: 1586

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In Out of Eden, Paul W. Kahn offers a philosophical meditation on the problem of evil. He uses the Genesis story of the Fall as the starting point for a profound articulation of the human condition. Kahn shows us that evil expresses the rage of a subject who knows both that he is an image of an infinite God and that he must die. Kahn's interpretation of Genesis leads him to inquiries into a variety of modern forms of evil, including slavery, torture, and genocide. Kahn takes issue with Hannah Arendt's theory of the banality of evil, arguing that her view is an instance of the modern world's lost capacity to speak of evil. Psychological, social, and political accounts do not explain evil as much as explain it away. Focusing on the existential roots of evil rather than on the occasions for its appearance, Kahn argues that evil originates in man's flight from death. He urges us to see that the opposite of evil is not good, but love: while evil would master death, love would transcend it. Offering a unique perspective that combines political and cultural theory, law, and philosophy, Kahn here continues his project of advancing a political theology of modernity.
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