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date: 26 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes Carl Schmitt’s concept of the political from the vantage point of German Romanticism. For Schmitt, Romanticism wasan intellectual attitude that precluded the concept and practice of “the political.” Through an in-depth reading of a preeminent document of political thought in German Romanticism, Novalis’s Love and Faith, this chapter considers and qualifies this view, arguing that “political theology” can be understood as a reaction to the French Revolution rather than as a tradition reaching back to medieval or baroque times. This chapter also argues that Novalis’s famous essay must be seen as a precursor to Schmitt’s own political theory. Overlap exists both in the blend of conservatism and radical constructivism in Novalis and Schmitt and in the interventionist character of both men’s statements on politics. Read as a precursor to Schmitt, Novalis’s philosophy of politics also offers a meaningful critique of Schmitt’s later theories.

Keywords: Novalis, Carl Schmitt, German Romanticism, political theology, political thought, concept of the political

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