Does democracy need political theology?”

n the last two chapters of Political Theology Schmitt argues that during the 19th century the theory of the state began to draw all of its concepts from democratic ideas fashioned through a discourse of radical immanence which denies the existence of God. This raises the question of whether and how Schmitt believed that democracy could be legitimated at all given his previous argument, in the first two chapters of Political Theology, that political order requires an instance of sovereignty and sovereignty, in turn, appeals to divine transcendence. Assuming with Schmitt that “political theology” is a discourse of legitimacy, the question becomes: is a political theology of democracy possible? This paper proposes the hypothesis that the contemporary turn to “post-secularism” can be understood as a response to Schmitt’s challenge by working out a political theology of democracy that is based on radical immanence and atheism.