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Trialogue: What Is Political Atheism?

Joshua Mitchell, Shadi Hamid, and Jerry Bowyer discuss one of René Girard's most paradoxical terms (Moderated by Justin Lee)

What does it mean to be an “atheist in politics”? René Girard first used this mysterious phrase in 1961 in his first book Deceit, Desire, and the Novel.

No state, no politician, no party is invested with the divine authority that it claims to have.

How are we then to live and engage with politics in the world?

At last year’s NOVITATE Conference, which I hosted at The Catholic University of America in honor of Girard’s 100th birthday, this panel explored the fundamental question. I hope you enjoy the conversation.

The Interlocuters

Joshua Mitchell, Professor of political theory at Georgetown University. Dr. Mitchell has been Chairman of the Government Department and Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs at SFS-Q. His research interest lies in the relationship between political thought and theology in the West. He has published articles in The Review of Politics, The Journal of Politics, The Journal of Religion, APSR, and Political Theory. His book, Tocqueville in Arabia: Dilemmas in a Democ…

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Luke Burgis Newsletter
Luke Burgis Newsletter
Pursuing the mysterium tremendum et fascinans and writing at the intersection of philosophy, culture, art, technology, and religious wisdom.