Moving beyond the fascination that technology exerts, we must reappropriate thetrue meaning of freedom, which is not an intoxication with total autonomy, but aresponse to the call of being, beginning with our own personal being.
BENEDICT XVI, “Caritas in veritate”
This course investigates the status, deployments, rationalities and prospects of
in thecontext of our contemporary
. It does so by revisiting the
within the political vocabulary and imaginary of modernity between
REASON AND RELIGION
through a genealogical study of the historico-material andtheoretical terrains that have lent currency to such a discursive oppositionality while paying attentionto the concrete strategies of its deployment as well as consequences to the possibility of truly
political practices and modes of criticism.Throughout the semester, the course will show how the diverse pursuits, reflections and theoreticalengagements of modern and contemporary political theorists are underpinned by a struggle to definethe boundary of the religious and the non-religious with the aim of securing and guarding the freedompromised by the modern conceptualization of reason. The course proceeds from the overarching claimthat the framing of these conceptual struggles/oppositions cannot be separated from the criticalappraisal of and resistance to the demands of the historically dominant mode of economic organizationand production and as such any attempt to reconfigure the frames and terms of these conceptualcategorizations by way of discursive representation and theoretical innovation must also pay attentionto the possibility of reproducing the very system of economic life and accumulation that allows such asystem of representation to attain a meaningful and powerful status in theconsciousness of observers and critical interrogators. The centralobjective of the course then is to strive in the most effective wayto resist and displace the possibilities for reproducing theserepresentational and discursive tendencies.The route for reflection offered by the course is directedtowards the study of contemporary political subjectivityand the cultivation of possible counter-subjectivitiesas well as the endorsement of forms of counter-consciousness drawn from the concrete experiencesof those at the margins of the authorized rationalityof capitalist modernity - laborers, religious mystics,theologians, women, homosexuals and postcolonialsubjects
and are the constant targets andinstruments, but as such, also possible sources of resisting, the disciplinaryapparatuses and forms of violence underlying thepresent order.