TMTC Director Kyle Gingerich Hiebert's newest book, The Architectonics of Hope: Violence, Apocalyptic, and the Transformation of Political Theology, is now available from Cascade Books. The book provides a critical excavation and reconstruction of the Schmittian seductions that continue to bedevil contemporary political theology. Despite a veritable explosion of interest in the work of Carl Schmitt, which increasingly recognizes his contemporary relevance and prescience, there nevertheless remains a curious and troubling reticence within the discipline of theology to substantively engage the German jurist and sometime Nazi apologist. By offering a genealogical reconstruction of the manner and extent to which recognizably Schmittian gestures are unwittingly repeated in subsequent debates that often only implicitly assume they have escaped the violent aporetics that characterize Schmitt’s thought, this volume illuminates hidden resonances between ostensibly opposed political theologies. Using the complex relationship between violence and apocalyptic as a guide, the genealogy traces the transformation of political theology through the work of a surprising collection of figures, including Johann Baptist Metz, John Milbank, David Bentley Hart, and John Howard Yoder.
“Theologians must be political because they are embroiled in politics; and they are embroiled in politics because politics is saturated with religious resonances. So here is a new and courageous voice in political theology, taking on the giants—Schmitt, Metz, Radical Orthodoxy, and Yoder—and presenting them with a passionately argued freshness. The book courts controversy, and its dramatic genealogical unfolding of the apocalyptic and violent within political theology intensifies that controversy. But we need younger, confident, theologically astute thinkers to generate the right kind of contestation, and Gingerich Hiebert does that with well-crafted elegance and integrity. His vision of a new and hope-filled way of seeing opens a new chapter in political theology and isn’t fearful of exposing the deficiencies of older accounts. The book deserves to be read widely, reviewed widely, and debated widely, because only that way might we move forward in a world steeped in violence with faith, hope, and what he calls ‘charitable theological argument.’”
—Graham Ward, Regis Professor of Divinity, Christ Church, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
“Kyle Gingerich Hiebert’s compellingly-written, nuanced genealogical account of the connections between violence and apocalyptic in early and late twentieth century political theologies displays an intimate grasp of the relevant conceptual and critical theoretical issues and offers a constructive perspective on what is at stake in this contested terrain.”
—Travis Kroeker, Professor, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
“This well-argued book offers a fundamental contribution to the expanding field of political theology, by uncovering the influence of Carl Schmitt on a variety of thinkers like Metz, Yoder, and Milbank. In doing so, Gingerich Hiebert connects traditions of thought that seemed non-comparable before. Furthermore, he provides a way to retrieve Schmitt, who is the proverbial elephant in the room in many types of contemporary theology. In this way, Gingerich Hiebert shows an undercurrent in modern political theology that needed to be uncovered.”
—Stephan van Erp, Professor of Fundamental Theology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
“Gingerich Hiebert creatively puts Schmitt, Metz, Milbank, Hart, and Yoder into conversation with the result that we not only understand each of them better, but more importantly we have a better grasp of what is at stake in political theology. This book is destined to become a key text for all concerned with political theology.”
—Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law, Duke University, Durham, USA
Plans are in the works for a launch event in Toronto. Stay tuned for details.