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Political theology and comedy : Žižek through Rose tinted glasses.

Pound, Marcus (2015) 'Political theology and comedy : Žižek through Rose tinted glasses.', Crisis and critique., 2 (1). pp. 171-191.


This paper defends the centrality of comedy as paradigmatic of political theology by reading the project of Slavoj Žižek through the lens of the late British philosopher Gillian Rose. I begin by exploring Rose’s recovery of Hegel as means to make good on Marxist social critique with particular reference to her non-foundational or ‘speculative reading’ of Hegel. I then explore the degree to which her work stands in advance of Žižek’s project, arguing that it is her work that makes his project possible in the first place. I turn next to the reception of Hegel and comedy, and in particular the place Rose awards comedy in Hegel’s work, before exploring the central differences between Rose and Žižek’s work: law verses the symbolic, and the respective shapes of their political theology. Returning to Rose’s remarks on comedy qua law I ask in the final analysis: how should we understand the relationship between political theology and comedy? Rose I suggest offers a coherent alternative to Žižek whilst retaining nonetheless the commitment to Hegelian-Marxist social theory.

Item Type:Article
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Date accepted:26 October 2015
Date deposited:15 November 2018
Date of first online publication:09 February 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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