State of Exceptions and the Sovereign Decision: The King-Pope of the House of Davao

Nestor Ravilas

All discussions on political theology from Carl Schmitt to Slavoj Zizek inevitably center on the person of the sovereign, says Graham Hamill. It comes with no surprise, therefore, why modern rulers remain enchanted with the glorious days of the Caesaropapists, those sovereign kings whose absolute rule made them subject to no one for they claimed to have both political and divine authority. The closest we remember are the English monarchs from Henry VIII, to James I, to Charles I, and James II, all asserted the divine right to rule. This history of political theology, where absolute power secured by divine ordination persists in our culture like the fruit in the middle of the garden where all are craving to have a taste of it.

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President Duterte’s Stupid Theologians

By Nestor Ravilas
His theological knowledge is impressive. Against the dominating theology, he was audacious enough to express his unpopular opinion. He was able to read the time well. The end of totalizing epistemology is waning down and the dawn of plurality of knowledges has already made its way in the horizon early in 20th century. This is how these theologians appraised the latest fulmination of the president. As if the occasion where the president unleashed his tirade is a theological forum where participants of other opinions were present to counter him. As if a levelled table was set where one can engage the president in theological debate.

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Stupid God for Stupid People

By Nestor Ravilas

Ulrich Beck has a very interesting and fascinating analysis on the interactions of religion and the state. As states started to embrace secularism, either for the purpose of aggressively discrediting religions (Habermas) or to clad rather the state with a mantle of neutrality to distance itself from religions (Taylor), religions on their part welcomed this move of separation of two powerful institutions. Beck argues that religions take the rift as way to free themselves from the cumbersome of political governance and the rigors of responding to scientific inquiries. The state now will take care of those concerns while religions withdraw to the cloisters of spirituality, which simply means, their cultic rituals and practices.

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