On Community in the Political Theology of Jacob Taubes

  • Daniel Tincu “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iași
Keywords: Community, political theology, the political, revolution, eschatology


The present paper aims to analyse through a systematic approach the notion of “community” encountered in the works of Jacob Taubes. Under a theologico-political scenario, the author discusses the political framework of Saint Paul in his Letter to the Romans. According to Taubes, the Apostle inaugurates a new type of sovereignty — acquired by the grace of God, and not by the divine law. Ultimately, the plan of Paul is to create a new “life” for the community of Christians through spirit (gr. πνεμα) and the highest form of love (gr. γάπη). According to the author, the Letter to the Romans perfectly illustrates the transformation of the political, where the idea of hierarchy is replaced with the one of equilibrium; under this equation religion is not authority, but participation in community. From a more practical point of view, the political theology of Jacob Taubes is interested in answering the following dilemma: how is it possible for a community that sees its Lord crucified on the Cross not to create rebellions, but, on the contrary, to generally cultivate an obedient attitude towards state authority? Ultimately, while mapping the author’s understanding of community, the paper also brings into attention what the transformation of the political means for Taubes and why political theology is the scenario that accommodates the revolutionised community.


Agamben, G. (2005). The time that remains. A Commentary on the Letter to the Romans. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Böckenforde, E. W. (1983). Politische Theorie und Politische Theologie. Bemerkungen zu ihrem gegenseitigen Verhältnis. In J. Taubes (Ed.), Religionstheorie und Politische Theologie. Der Fürst dieser Welt. Carl Schmitt und die Folgen, München: Fink Verlag, 1983.

Terpstra, M., De Wit, T. (2000). No Spiritual Investment in the World as It Is: Jacob Taubes’s Negative Political Theology. In N. I. Bulhof, & L. ten Kate (Eds.), Flight of the Gods: Philosophical Perspectives on Negative Theology (pp. 320-353), New York: Fordham UP, 2000.

Taubes, J. (2019), On the Symbolic Order of Modern Democracy. In W. Styfhalls, & S. Symons (Eds.), Genealogies of the Secular: The Making of Modern German Thought (pp. 179-191). New York: Suny Press.

Taubes, J. (2003). The political theology of Paul. Assmann A., Assmann J. (Eds.). Stanford: Stanford University Press.

How to Cite
Tincu, D. (2022). On Community in the Political Theology of Jacob Taubes. LUMEN Proceedings, 17, 658-661. https://doi.org/10.18662/wlc2021/65