Chapter 2 Anger: A Secularized Theological Concept

In: The Spirit of Populism
Vincent Lloyd
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Media accounts often suggest that anger motivates the rise of populist political movements. Indeed, populism and anger are so closely associated in popular discourse as to become almost one: populism is angry people doing politics. And today, many people are angry. From Trump to Brexit, from rivalries in the Middle East to nationalisms in Eastern Europe to protests in Hong Kong, from racial justice protests in Ferguson to the global #metoo movement, anger now seems to be a prime mover of global politics. In this chapter, Vincent Lloyd classes accounts of anger into two groups. Some cultural critics and philosophers take anger as a fitting response to a wrong. Others take anger, or at least a certain type of anger, as opaque, directed at the injustices baked into a normative order. By turning to accounts of anger from the Hebrew Bible, where human and divine anger are closely tied with authority, Lloyd argues that the opaque concept of anger is often forgotten, or repressed. When it is recovered, we are attuned to questions of domination, and to possibilities for flourishing in a radically different world.

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The Spirit of Populism

Political Theologies in Polarized Times

Series:  Political and Public Theologies, Volume: 1


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