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Issue 07 – Saint Rose 2021



This issue's letters to the editor.


I was pleased to see the Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben published in The Lamp’s Corpus Christi 2021 issue. Although I have serious objections to his take on the COVID-19 pandemic, I do not write to raise those, but rather to comment on Agamben more generally. I believe Catholics ought to be more familiar with his thought, though I also believe that we should be cautious about adopting it wholesale.

Agamben’s lifelong project has been to demonstrate that political power as realized in the form called “sovereignty” depends upon the creation of classes of people who are deeply affected by the law but excluded from its protection. (Usually this takes the form of mass murder.) He does this, as a friend (and fellow Lamp subscriber) puts it, by “smashing together Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault.” Readers familiar with Before Church and State by Andrew Willard Jones will note that this idea is similar to the critique of sovereignty articulated in that book.

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