This was a busy year, for sure. I spoke about the problems of Christian just war theory at the University of Helsinki; about religious nationalism at New College, Oxford; the tyranny of the majority at Károli Gáspár University, Budapest; about a forgotten source of secular religions’ theory at the Institute of Hungarian Studies; Pope Benedict XVI’s idea of secular religions at the University of Public Service, Budapest; about the political theology of Rousseau at the University of Helsinki; about Russian religious nationalism at Saint Louis University, St. Louis; about religion and politics at the Metropolitan University, Budapest; not to mention roundtable discussions, book presentations, and university courses on similar topics.
I also organized a conference on political theology at the University of Public Service, where – to my great pleasure – many young scholars (from undergraduate students to post-docs) presented papers on a variety of topics from Christian conservatism to postmodern religiosity. It would be an exaggeration, of course, to say that a “new school of political theology” is on the rise, but it’s certainly good to know that so many early-career researchers share the same interest.
In the meantime, I joined an international research group called “Rethinking the Secular” (with participants from Norway, Sweden, Scotland, and the United States) which also looks exciting and involves regular meetings throughout next year, ending with a conference in Edinburgh in November.
As for publications, I wrote a lot, but most of those will only appear next year. In April, I finished one on the concept of “political religion” for the University of Trento (Italy) and another one on religious laws and the definition of religion for the Avicenna Institute (Hungary). I also wrote on the medieval origins of natural law for Mathias Corvinus College and on 19th-century French apologetics for Tomori College. I contributed with two entries (Political theology and Subsidiarity) to the “Hungarian Philosophical Encyclopedia,” but this is such a huge project that its completion is impossible to predict.
What actually appeared in print was my review of Csaba Kiss’s book on Tocqueville and Marx; an article called “Dying with Europe” about political eschatologies from Joseph de Maistre to Francis Fukuyama; an essay on Maistre’s “St. Petersburg Dialogues,” and most of all, a long-awaited paper on “Conservative Orators in Restoration France” in the European Review of History.
At a more personal level, it was my pleasure to have been invited by students to perform at several faculty events and summer camps, singing my own old political songs as well as classics with a political (or theologico-political) message. And this is just the beginning!