The Sovereign Position of the World: Towards a Political Theology of Modernity (after Blumenberg)
Hans Blumenberg’s Legitimacy of the Modern Age makes a powerful case for the autonomy of modernity with regard to the preceding Christian epoch – but it also emphasizes at least one continuity between the two, which can be framed via what Blumenberg casts as their common enemy: Gnosticism. Far from being external or secondary, this opposition to Gnosticism structurally defines both of these epochs as their task. What is, however, at stake in this common task? Reading with and against Blumenberg – and following his own account of the epochal shift to modernity – we will shed light, first, on the genealogy and, secondly, the political theology of Blumenbergian modernity, its structure of sovereignty, and key related concepts, such as the world, position, possibility, legitimation, theodicy, immanence, and self-assertion.