The project consist of a critique of political theology, that is, the essentially religious conception of the state as a sovereign subject that transcends and determines society from without. A conception which, in spite of its descriptive limitations and normative implications, remains predominant within contemporary political theory. It is argued that the contradiction between state and society that derives from the implicit transcendent-theological lineage and structure of contemporary political theory, can be overcome via the (post-)Hegelian resources of Karl Marx’s unfinished Critique of Hegel’s Doctrine of State, which has remained largely ignored in the literature. Marx’s resolution emphasizes the primacy of society (and/as economy) in regards to the state, without therefore resorting to abstract negation of political theology as most prior critiques have done. Rather he suggests that it is precisely the social significance of this idea and concomitant practices, which constitutes the earthly existence of the modern state. The project thus aims to develop a ‘profane’ reconceptualization of the modern state, via Marx’s reflexive engagement with and critique of political theology.
The project is supervised by Associate Professor Allan Dreyer Hansen (Roskilde University) and Associate Professor Noel Parker (Copenhagen University).