‘Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you’: Populism, political theology and the culturally repugnant other

Lynch, Thomas (2021) ‘Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you’: Populism, political theology and the culturally repugnant other. In: The Spirit of Populism: Political Theologies in Polarized Times. Political and Public Theologies, 1 . Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp. 40-56. ISBN 9789004498310

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Abstract

Populism and conspiracism are historically and conceptually intertwined. Conspiracism offers narratives that supports simplified and binary worldviews. Confronted with a complex and rapidly changing world, it provides order. With its suspicions of global elites and distrust of official accounts, it is particularly amenable to populism. Populism and conspiracism also present the same conundrum to those who wish to diminish their influence: critiques of populism and conspiracism inevitably reinforce the social and political dynamics that animate populism and conspiracism in the first place. These critiques distance individuals, groups and movements that one finds objectionable—these people become the culturally repugnant other. Focusing on the example of QAnon, I ague that critiques of populism mirror earlier critiques of fundamentalism. In response, I draw on political theology to argue that populism and conspiracism should not be opposed as inappropriate political styles, but on the basis of the racist and xenophobic ends to which they are directed.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Chapter 3
Uncontrolled Keywords: populism, conspiracy theories, political theology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Departments > Theology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Tommy Lynch
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2021 15:24
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2021 15:24
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/6052

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