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ISSN 0869-5377
Author: Chernyavskaya Alesya

Chernyavskaya Alesya

Research Assistant at the International Center for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences of National Research University Higher School of Economics. Address: 12 Petrovka str., 107996 Moscow, Russia. E-mail:


Being “in Between”: Prolegomena to Eric Voegelin’s Political Theory / Logos. 2015. № 6 (108). P. 180-195
annotation:  This study examines Eric Voegelin’s political philosophy as political theology and describes it as a possibly way to reconceptualize modernity as philosophical category. In his works, Voegelin traces the relationship between religious and political spheres. This relationship is reflected through in historical continuity and in the transformation of symbols that modern political ideologies have generally utilized for self-interpretation. These symbols include hierarchy, ecclesia, the apocalypse, etc. Since these symbols have come under the influence of secularization and are embedded in human history, they have acquired sacred characteristics. Voegelin has developed a highly sophisticated conceptual framework for analyzing this process. He stresses the deep and permanent values which can be traced to both Christianity and classical philosophy, and can be identified as transcendent experience. When ignoring this experience, modern political theory empties itself of meaning. Voegelin describes this phenomenon as “gnosticism.” The gnostic worldview is characterized by a break with its origins. Within it, people did not create the world, but can partake in the mystery that is being (Voegelin called this “metaxy”). To Voegelin, reason itself needs to be recovered in order to revitalize the public realm. From this position, he engaged in today’s discourse concerning postmodernism and post-secularity. Moreover, the main point Voegelin insisted upon, the fact that reason (including political reason) is inseparable from orientation towards the transcendent. This perspective, labeled by the authors as “political theology,” could extend the epistemological horizon of post-secular and postmodern concepts.
Keywords:  Eric Voegelin; political philosophy; political theology; gnosticism; modern political ideologies; postmodernism; the post-secular
Underground and Schizophrenia / Logos. 2014. № 1 (97). P. 237-239
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