Book Section
The re- of ‘restrain’ — not the more common iterative ‘re-’ but a mere, if semantically obscure intensifier — marks a temporal paradox: the restraint that prevents a force from reaching its telos is not only a delay, but the intervention of a separate, autonomous, and anti-teleological regime of time. The article reads the biblical figure of the katéchon, ‘the withholder’, as an expression of this paradox and as symptomatic of a political-theological ambivalence essential to the foundation of Western political thought. If the ‘secular order’ or ‘worldly government’ has the function of withholding both the ultimate salvation and the final outbreak of chaos, then it sustains itself only by postponing any determination of its value or effect.
Title
Restrain
Author(s)
Christiane Frey
Identifier
DOI Target
HTML Page
Description
The re- of ‘restrain’ — not the more common iterative ‘re-’ but a mere, if semantically obscure intensifier — marks a temporal paradox: the restraint that prevents a force from reaching its telos is not only a delay, but the intervention of a separate, autonomous, and anti-teleological regime of time. The article reads the biblical figure of the katéchon, ‘the withholder’, as an expression of this paradox and as symptomatic of a political-theological ambivalence essential to the foundation of Western political thought. If the ‘secular order’ or ‘worldly government’ has the function of withholding both the ultimate salvation and the final outbreak of chaos, then it sustains itself only by postponing any determination of its value or effect.
Is Part Of
Re-
Place
Berlin
Publisher
ICI Berlin Press
Date
2019
Subject
delay
postponement
interruption
temporal paradox
katéchon
withholding power
political theology
revelation
salvation
secular order
Giorgio Agamben
Roberto Esposito
restraint
Rights
© by the author(s)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Harvested
yes
Language
en-GB
short title
Restrain
page start
141
page end
149
Source
Re-: An Errant Glossary, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey and Arnd Wedemeyer, Cultural Inquiry, 15 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2019), pp. 141–49
Bibliographic Citation
Christiane Frey, ‘Restrain’, in Re-: An Errant Glossary, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey and Arnd Wedemeyer, Cultural Inquiry, 15 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2019), pp. 141–49 <https://doi.org/10.25620/ci-15_18>
Format
application/pdf