9780226518909 / 0226518906

The Lesson of Carl Schmitt: Four Chapters on the Distinction between Political Theology and Political Philosophy


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Publisher:University of Chicago Press, 1998



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About the book:

This book is the culmination of Heinrich Meier's acclaimed analyses of the controversial thought of Carl Schmitt. Meier identifies the core of Schmitt's thought as political theology--that is, political theorizing that claims to have its ultimate ground in the revelation of a mysterious or supra-rational God. This radical, but half-hidden, theological foundation unifies the whole of Schmitt's often difficult and complex oeuvre, cutting through the intentional deceptions and unintentional obfuscations that have eluded previous commentators.

Relating this religious dimension to Schmitt's support for National Socialism and his continuing anti-Semitism, Meier compels the reader to come to terms with the irreconcilable differences between political theology and political philosophy. His book will give pause to those who have tended to gloss over the troubling aspects of some of Schmitt's ideas.

With editions in German, French, Italian, and now English, Meier's two books on Schmitt have dramatically reoriented the international debate about Carl Schmitt and his significance for twentieth-century political thought.

"Standing far above the rest . . . is Heinrich Meier's new study, Die Lehre Carl Schmitts, which covers all of Schmitt's writings. . . . Meier's work has forced everyone to take a second look at the assumptions underlying Schmitt's better-known writings and reconsider some that have been ignored."--Mark Lilla, reviewing the German edition in The New York Review of Books

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