Три книги Канторовича
In this introduction to the Russian translation of "The King's Two Bodies" the author gives his survey of life and works of Ernst Hartwig Kantorowicz.
The article is a critical survey of the recent biography of German lawyer and political scientist Carl Schmitt written by R. Mehring. The author focuses on the particularity of Mehring's approach to the biography and reveals the characteristic examples which are the evidence of Mehring's outstanding work full of unique historical facts, although he does not create the unified and methodically coherent Schmitt's story of life.
In 1957 Ernst Kantorowicz published a book that would be the guide for generations of scholars through the arcane mysteries of medieval political theology. In The King's Two Bodies, Kantorowicz traces the historical problem posed by the "King's two bodies"--the body politic and the body natural--back to the Middle Ages and demonstrates, by placing the concept in its proper setting of medieval thought and political theory, how the early-modern Western monarchies gradually began to develop a "political theology."
The king's natural body has physical attributes, suffers, and dies, naturally, as do all humans; but the king's other body, the spiritual body, transcends the earthly and serves as a symbol of his office as majesty with the divine right to rule. The notion of the two bodies allowed for the continuity of monarchy even when the monarch died, as summed up in the formulation "The king is dead. Long live the king."
Bringing together liturgical works, images, and polemical material, The King's Two Bodies explores the long Christian past behind this "political theology." It provides a subtle history of how commonwealths developed symbolic means for establishing their sovereignty and, with such means, began to establish early forms of the nation-state.
In the article, the author analyses the conception of people as a political body (corpus politicum) described in the text of the “Siete Partidas” of Alphonse X the Wise, king of Castile and Leon (1252–1284). In the frame of this theory, the people are considered as a whole body and the king as its soul, heart and head. The multitude can become the people only being united by the love to the king. The author criticizes the hypothesis according to which the principal sources of Alphonse's political theory were the works of St.Thomas Aquinas and John of Salisbury and proposed the other version. According to his version, such sources were, first of all, the texts of the tradition of political Augustinism, i.e., the “De civitate Dei” of St.Augustine and the “Sententiarum Libri tres” of Isidor of Seville.
The subject of this article is the concept of power developed by the jurists of Alfonso the Wise in the Partidas. The main role of the king as the political and spiritual leader of his Kingdom is shown through a system of oppositions. The existing main distinction between the king and emperor is also seen in the alphonsine doctrine: the power of the former has a mystical character, while the second is based on purely rational grounds.
This is a contribution to the French-Russian Conference on Joseph de Maistre. Joseph de Maistre was a famous theorist and proponent of counter-revolution. He criticized the theory of the popular sovereignty of Rousseau and elaborated his own theory of the royal sovereignty. However, he was no advocate of the so-called decisionism, as Carl Schmitt depicted him in his writings on political theology.
How can we understand (German) idealism as emancipatory today, after the new realist critique? In this paper, I argue that we can do so by identifying a political theology of revolution and utopia at the theoretical heart of German Idealism. First, idealism implies a certain revolutionary event at its foundation. Kant’s Copernicanism is ingrained, methodologically and ontologically, into the idealist system itself. Secondly, this revolutionary origin remains a "non-place" for the idealist system, which thereby receives a utopian character. I define the utopian as the ideal gap, produced by and from within the real, between the non-place of the real as origin and its reduplication as the non-place of knowledge’s closure, as well as the impulse, inherent in idealism, to attempt to close that gap and fully replace the old with the new. Based on this definition, I outline how the utopian functions in Kant, Fichte and Hegel. Furthermore, I suggest that (German) idealism may be seen as a political-theological offshoot of realism, via the objective creation of a revolutionary condition. The origin of the ideal remains in the real, maintaining the utopian gap and the essentially critical character of idealism, both at the level of theory and as social critique.