chapter  4
10 Pages

Richard II, Bracton, and the End of Political Theology

Not unlike ideology, political theology exists in two versions, a weaker and a stronger use of the term. In the weaker variety, political theology seems merely ideological. In this ideological sense of the word, political theology is of a descriptive value for the sociology of religion, while sociology itself is the secularized replacement or political successor of a theologically grounded politics of religion. Thus Deborah Kuller Shuger's Political Theologies in Shakespeare's England deals with an ideological functioning of theological politics. In the stronger sense of the word, however, this socioideological surface is the historical function of a translation or commerce between theology and politics whose notorious definition is Carl Schmitt's thesis that "significant concepts of the modern doctrine of the state are secularized theological concepts.".