“That Mortal God”: On One Case of Commentary in Hobbes’s Leviathan Cover Image
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“Ce Dieu mortel”, l’État. Un cas de commentaire dans le Leviathan de Hobbes
“That Mortal God”: On One Case of Commentary in Hobbes’s Leviathan

Author(s): Vladimir Ž. Milisavljević
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Editura Universităţii »Alexandru Ioan Cuza« din Iaşi
Keywords: commentary; God; Leviathan; myth; politics; sovereignty; State; text

Summary/Abstract: Several decades ago Carl Schmitt proposed an account of Thomas Hobbes’s theory of state in terms of “political theology”, which is still influent nowadays. One of the main supports of this sort of interpretation is Hobbes’s description of the state as a “Mortall God” in a famous phrase of Leviathan, which Schmitt understands in the light of his concepts of image, symbol and (political) myth. This text proceeds from the opposite point of view, trying to elaborate the specifically textual dimension of Leviathan. In this perspective I contend that Hobbes’s description of the state displays all the principal features of the “commentary” as a discursive mode, taking this concept in the meaning that it has in textual linguistics. The results of this reading allow us to put into question the interpretation of Hobbes in the sense of political theology and, finally, to show that his theory of state represents a paradigm case of a secular political theory.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 11
  • Page Range: 125-142
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Romanian