Rethinking the Political demonstrates that the Collège de Sociologie's quest to create a new place for the sacred in modern collective life ostensibly entailed avoiding the theorization of both aesthetics and politics. While the Collège condemned manipulation by totalitarian regimes, its understanding of community also led to a rejection of democratic and communist forms of political organization, leaving the group open to accusations of flirting with fascism. Acknowledging these political ambiguities, the author goes beyond a narrow ideological reading to reveal the Collège's important contribution to our thinking about the relationships between community formation, politics, aesthetics, and the sacred in the modern world. She expands her historical account of the members' thought, including their relationship to Surrealism, beyond the group’s dissolution, and shows how the work of Claude Lefort extends, but also resolves, many of the Collège's key theoretical insights. A fascinating study of some of the twentieth-century's most daring thinkers, Rethinking the Political offers crucial insights into the contradictions at play in modern notions of community that still resonate today.
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