CfP: “Civil Theology”: A History of the Concept

The Italian journal “Politica e religione. Annuario di teologia politica/Yearbook of Political Theology” welcomes submissions from various fields (History of Political Thought, History of Christian, Jewish or Islamic Thought, Philosophy, Theology, History of Law) for an issue focussed on the history of the concept of “civil theology”

Abstract submission deadline: October 15, 2021
Full paper submission deadline: February 28, 2022

The Topic

The phrase “civil theology” (theologia civilis) appears in Augustine (The City of God, book VI) and is attributed to Varro. Along with the “mythical theology” of poets and the “natural theology” of philosophers, Varro mentions the “civil theology”, which concerns the public cult of gods established within the city. Making occasional appearances in medieval texts, from the early modern period onwards the phrase was increasingly used, and overlapped with similar expressions as “civil religion”, “political religion”, “political theology”, with no substantial variation in the meaning until D’Alembert’s and Diderot’s Encyclopédie. Nineteenth-century debates attest the preponderance of “political theology”, both in theological and political areas, and the phrase was subsequently made famous by Carl Schmitt’s essay on Political theology, in 1922.

The volume aims at casting light on the historical roots and the different uses, functions and meanings of the concept of “civil theology”/”political theology” from Varro to Schmitt. Special attention is to be paid to the semantic shifts of the concept and to its actual presence in a number of classic texts. Topics of interest include,page2image51732928page2image51734272

but are

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not limited to, the following:

V arro on “civil theology”: origins, roots. Theconceptof“civiltheology”inAntiquity,fromVarrotoAugustine. Theconceptof“civiltheology”intheMiddleAges. Theconceptof“civiltheology”/“politicaltheology”fromtheRenaissancetotheEncyclopédieTheconceptof“civiltheology”/“politicaltheology”inthe19thcent. Theconceptof“civiltheology”/“politicaltheology”inthe20thcent.


Abstracts (c. 150 words, with essential bibliography) should be submitted to the address, by October 15, 2021. Selected authors will be notified by October 30, 2021. The full paper (in Italian, English, French, German or Spanish) should be approximately 45.000 characters, including footnotes, and should be sent electronically to, by February 28, 2022. All submissions undergo a double-blind peer review process and should be prepared accordingly. Publication is expected by the end of 2022.