Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2020

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

Advisor

Joel Anderson

Second Committee Member

Michael Lang

Third Committee Member

Nathan Godfried

Abstract

“The Monolithic View: On the Plurality of Political Theologies in the Writings of Ernst Kantorowicz” is an argument in favor of a revaluation of the concept of “political theology” as it appears in the writings of the twentieth-century German-Jewish medievalist Ernst H. Kantorowicz (d. 1963). First, I consider the ways in which the appearance of this term in Kantorowicz’s writings has been interpreted by scholars in the last three decades, and critically examine the origins of this interpretation. The tendency has been to see Kantorowicz as engaged in a critical dialogue with the German juridical scholar and Nazi party member Carl Schmitt, in spite of the fact that Schmitt’s name never appears in Kantorowicz’s writings. Second, I examine the appearances of “political theology” in Kantorowicz’s published and unpublished writings. I argue that the pluralistic use of this term as it appears in his work is incompatible with the dominant historiographical trend that sees him as being in dialogue with Carl Schmitt.

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