Strange Gods: Legal Theology and the ‘Modernity’ of Law (Paperback) book cover

Strange Gods

Legal Theology and the ‘Modernity’ of Law

By Peter Fitzpatrick

© 2015 – Routledge-Cavendish

208 pages

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Paperback: 9780415560153
pub: 2017-09-01
Hardback: 9780415560146
pub: 2017-09-01

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Strange Gods provides a genealogy of modern law as a secular theology, calling into question the received ideas that modern law is radically different from its religious antecedents, and that modernity involved a repudiation of theological concepts. Peter Fitzpatrick charts the lineage of this secular theology through three ‘historicities’: the creation of the world’s imperium, of the modern world-system, in the sixteenth century; the time of revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and the high modernism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Respectively condensed here in the writings of Vitoria, Hobbes and Nietzsche, Fitzpatrick documents the substitution of a monotheistic God by successive articulations of a persistently 'deific' law. Strange Gods thus questions the story of secularism’s triumph, by eliciting the essentially religious force of modern law: a force that is, moreover, recognisable in secularism's contemporary imperial mission.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Imperium 3. Revolution 4. Modernism

About the Author

Peter Fitzpatrick is Anniversary Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Jurisprudence
LAW / Legal History
PHILOSOPHY / Political
PHILOSOPHY / Movements / Deconstruction
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory