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Claude Lefort’s ‘Dante’s Modernity’ presents a detailed and highly original interpretation of Dante’s Monarchia. Lefort casts Dante as the first political thinker with a concept of humanity defined as the whole of the human race, the first to imagine a universal society in political terms, and the first to reveal the formative role of force, of wars and division in the advent of such a political unity. Tracing the career of Dante’s innovations in the political thought and praxis of the succeeding centuries, Lefort then shows how what is ‘new’ in Dante cannot be separated from its later avatars — from the varied realizations, distortions, and misapplications it would inspire at later historical junctures. Any contemporary realization of the potential inherent in Dante’s innovative idea of sovereignty would require the project of ‘disentangling’ the links between universalism, imperialism, and nationalism that have been instituted in its name.
Keywords: political theory; temporal monarchy; theology; universal society; the whole of humankind; the One; secularization
Title
Dante’s Modernity
Author(s)
Claude Lefort
Identifier
DOI Target
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Description
Claude Lefort’s ‘Dante’s Modernity’ presents a detailed and highly original interpretation of Dante’s Monarchia. Lefort casts Dante as the first political thinker with a concept of humanity defined as the whole of the human race, the first to imagine a universal society in political terms, and the first to reveal the formative role of force, of wars and division in the advent of such a political unity. Tracing the career of Dante’s innovations in the political thought and praxis of the succeeding centuries, Lefort then shows how what is ‘new’ in Dante cannot be separated from its later avatars — from the varied realizations, distortions, and misapplications it would inspire at later historical junctures. Any contemporary realization of the potential inherent in Dante’s innovative idea of sovereignty would require the project of ‘disentangling’ the links between universalism, imperialism, and nationalism that have been instituted in its name.
Is Part Of
Place
Berlin
Publisher
ICI Berlin Press
Date
2020
Subject
political theory
temporal monarchy
theology
universal society
the whole of humankind
the One
secularization
Rights
This English translation © Jennifer Rushworth First published as Claude Lefort, ‘La Modernité de Dante’, in Dante, La Monarchie © 1993 Belin/Humensis.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Language
en-GB
short title
Dante’s Modernity
page start
1
page end
85
Source
Claude Lefort, Dante’s Modernity: An Introduction to the ‘Monarchia’. With an Essay by Judith Revel, ed. by Christiane Frey, Manuele Gragnolati, Christoph F. E. Holzhey, and Arnd Wedemeyer, trans. by Jennifer Rushworth, Cultural Inquiry, 16 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2020), pp. 1–85
Bibliographic Citation
Claude Lefort, ‘Dante’s Modernity’, in Claude Lefort, Dante’s Modernity: An Introduction to the ‘Monarchia’. With an Essay by Judith Revel, ed. by Christiane Frey, Manuele Gragnolati, Christoph F. E. Holzhey, and Arnd Wedemeyer, trans. by Jennifer Rushworth, Cultural Inquiry, 16 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2020), pp. 1–85 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-16_03>

References

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  • Lubac, Henri de, Medieval Exegesis: The Four Senses of Scripture, trans. by Mark Sebanc and E. M. Macierowski, 3 vols (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998–2009)
  • Machiavelli, Niccolò, The Discourses, ed. by Bernard Crick, trans. by Leslie J. Walker, rev. by Brian Richardson (London: Penguin, 2013)
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  • Michelet, Jules, ‘Introduction to World History (1831)’, trans. by Flora Kimmich, in On History: Introduction to World History (1831); Opening Address at the Faculty of Letters, 9 January 1834; Preface to the History of France (1869), trans. by Flora Kimmich, Lionel Gossman, and Edward K. Kaplan (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2013), pp. 23–118 <https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0036.03>
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Cite as: Claude Lefort, ‘Dante’s Modernity’, in Claude Lefort, Dante’s Modernity: An Introduction to the ‘Monarchia’. With an Essay by Judith Revel, ed. by Christiane Frey, Manuele Gragnolati, Christoph F. E. Holzhey, and Arnd Wedemeyer, trans. by Jennifer Rushworth, Cultural Inquiry, 16 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2020), pp. 1–85 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-16_03>
Claude Lefort, ‘Dante’s Modernity’, in Claude Lefort, Dante’s Modernity: An Introduction to the Monarchia, ed. by Christiane Frey, Manuele Gragnolati, Christoph F. E. Holzhey, and Arnd Wedemeyer, Cultural Inquiry, 16 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2020), pp. 1-85 <https://doi.org/10.37050/ci-16_03>

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