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Sacralized Sovereignty ® Contemporary Convolution as a Catalyst of Crisis.

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Presentation on theme: "Sacralized Sovereignty ® Contemporary Convolution as a Catalyst of Crisis."— Presentation transcript:


2 Sacralized Sovereignty ® Contemporary Convolution as a Catalyst of Crisis

3 Introduction to the Theory of Convolution The convolution of two functions U(x) and V(x) is the function: U*V(x) = (integral from 0 to x of) U(t)V(x-t) dt. that is, “the integral of the product of the two functions after one is reversed and shifted.” “Two distinct functions U and V that, when combined, produce a third function deemed to be a modified structure of either of the two original functions.” “The third function (U*V) in a sense represents the amount of overlap between U and a reversed and translated version of V.”

4 The Journey Begins…Oxford

5 From Leytonstone to London Izzadeen in LeytonstoneSpeakers’ Corner, Hyde Park

6 Political Religions in Critical Eras Crisis as Shock and Impulse Response of the Convolution Function “The state appropriation of civil religion is more apparent in times of profound political crises. …while some generalized form of a national self-sacralization may be a constant of any society, we may also expect episodic manifestations of specific civil religions. In other words, the transcendent reality identified by Bellah (civil religion and its politico-religious symbol system) may not be a permanent feature of society, so much as something that varies with particular historical or national circumstances. Consequently, civil religious themes would tend to emerge or become more visible in periods of national or international crises (Purdy 1982: 313). It follows that a specific model of civil religion “may prove to fit one era but not others.” (Wilson, 1974: 136) From: Marcela Crista, From Civil to Political Religion, 2001

7 Voegelin: The Missing “Radix” Failure of intellectual analysts of National Socialism in 1937: “…denying the process of decay that has its origins in the secularization of the spirit and in the separation of a merely worldly spirit from its roots in religious experience.”

8 Hitler & Mussolini in Venice “Mussolini speaks of fascism as a religious idea and of the politics of the regime as religious politics, because Fascism proceeds from the assumption that man is in touch with a Volonta obeittive, and archives personality through this connection in a spiritual realm, in the realm of his people.” “A certain difference exists on this point (the sovereign as representative) between Italian and German symbolism, insofar as the spirit of the Italian people is understood more spiritually, while in German the spirit is linked to blood and the Fuhrer becomes the speaker of the spirit of the Volk and the representative of the people by virtue of his racial unity with them.” (Voegelin, Political Religions, 1937:67, 68)

9 Symbolism as Symptom In civil religion, the religious factor is provided by linking the political system with a transcendental power, meaning, or symbolism, often derived from an established religion (the Judeo-Christian tradition, for example, in the case of American civil religion). By contrast, in political religion the religious factor is more markedly embedded in the “sacralization” of a particular political order, program, or leader (Zuo, 1991:104). From Cristi, 2001


11 Transcendent Sovereignty in Islam Al-Farabi Qutb The Umma “None has the right to exalt himself over others. You must all enter into God’s servitude as equals. Thus, the Islamic call is universal, inviting a total change. It is to God alone that the right to rule belongs, and none else.” – from Prologue Surah 8, Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War) The Excellent State “This is the sovereign over whom no other human being has any sovereignty whatsoever; he is the Imam; he is the first sovereign of the excellent city, he is the sovereign of the excellent nation and the sovereign of the universal state (oikumene).” – from On the Perfect State


13 Transcendent Sovereignty in Christianity Corpus Mysticum “The office of the ruler acquires its status in the Corpus Mysticum and is thus no longer differentiated from the functions of priests and teachers. No boundary separates the political and the religious spheres. The Corpus Mysticum constitutes an internally differentiated entity in which there is a sacrament for anointing the king alongside the sacrament for ordaining priests. The performance of the King’s office is a sacred function alongside others. (Voegelin, 35) Collective Will & Civil Religion Once all wills are united in a single one, and the general will is declared, it becomes “an act of Sovereignty and constitutes law.” (Rousseau, 1762:183) For Rousseau, sovereignty has an “abstract and collective existence” and he coined the term civil religion as “the handmaiden of the state.” (Cristi, 135)


15 Transcendent Sovereignty in Judaism Maimonides (1138–1204) "The anointed king is destined to stand up and restore the Davidic Kingdom to its antiquity, to the first sovereignty. He will build the Temple in Jerusalem and gather the strayed ones of Israel together. All laws will return in his days as they were before.” Misneh Torah, Hilkhot Melakhim Umilchamoteihem, chapters 11 & 12

16 Apocalyptic Sovereignty Sovereignty and the “End of Kingdoms” “The Christian ‘Kingdom of the Apocalypse’ and the symbolism of the late Middle Ages form the deep historical foundation for the apocalyptic dynamism in modern political religions.” (Voegelin, Political Religions, 45)

17 Convoluted Political Religion Convolution involves two distinct functions that, when combined, produce a third function deemed to be a modified structure of either of the two original functions.  Two distinct functions – religion and politics  The amount of overlap between religion (or politics) and a reversed and translated version of politics (or religion)  When politics and religion are combined, they produce political religion – a third function that is a modified structure of either politics or religion.  Religion is intertwined (convoluted, … ) with politics – each impacting the other as in the convolution function  Deconvolution – reversal of the effects of convolution

18 Beyond Spheres of Sovereignty “All societies contain competing sources of power, the most powerful of which are usually articulated through political society in a broader sense….Internally however fascism leads to a transformation of the relationship between state and society, changing the structure of internal sovereignty by eroding the state/society distinction.” (Woodley, Fascism, Sovereignty, and the State, 2010: 104)

19 Implications Development vs. Destruction TranquilityTurmoil Somalia – Al-Shabaab  “Striving Youth”  Tyranny with Corrupt Trade Practices/Piracy  Hunger/Deprivation  Concentration on one preferred/dominant religion  Mass Migration Venice – La Serenissma  Peace  Trade is allowed to flourish  Prosperity  Diffusion of Diverse Cultures/Religions  Flow of Persons Amongst Nations

20 Presentation Sharon Forrest ©Sacralized Sovereignty (Publications, Presentation with Notes, Animation, and Graphics) is a trademark of Sharon Hathaway Forrest, All rights reserved. WISC 2011 – Porto, Portugal August 18, 2011 Animation David Cherry –

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