Michael Hollerich

The twentieth-century godfather of political theology is the controversial Catholic jurist and sometime Nazi Carl Schmitt. This "Martin Heidegger of political theory" and "German Hobbes of the twentieth century" (Schmitt 1996b: xii; Meier 1998: 100), as he has been called, is usually credited with reintroducing the concept of political theology into modern discourse. This chapter provides an introduction to Schmitt's life and work, an account of his political theology as he understood it, and a review of the critical reception of his work among his fellow Catholics.

Schmitt scholarship is massive, contentious, and unabating (see Mehring 1993; Gebhardt 1995; Seubert 2002). Reference will be made only to sources used in this presentation.

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