Monateri on Political Sublime and the Exotic Birth of European Sovereignty.
Heterodoxy and Jurisdiction at the Origin of Modernity
The aim of this paper, held at the meeting of the Harvard International Group for Law and Politics (IGLP), is to show the demonological origin of modernity, which entails a "sublime" aspect of the political exceeding the words by which we try to capture its nature. My paper proceeds using the lexicon of the Italian Theory (Agamben and Esposito) to analyse the parallel between King James I and Jean Bodin. Both authors developed the modern conceptions of political sovereignty and both were engaged in witch-trials, writing extensive treatises on the matter. This parallel locates the question of heterodoxy/orthodoxy in the very threshold of modernity. My tentative conclusion is the possibility of a link between the politicization of the magic world and the genealogy of modernity, reversing, in a way, the standard approach of political theology in favour of a demonological archeology of modern European concepts of law and politics.