Tommy Lynch is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Religion at the University of Chichester. He is the author of Apocalyptic Political Theology: Hegel, Taubes and Malabou (Bloomsbury, 2019) which considers the influence of Hegel on political theology, his place in genealogies of apocalypticism, and the role of apocalypticism in contemporary political thought. He is interested in the connections between political theology (especially the work of Carl Schmitt and Jacob Taubes), continental philosophy and interdisciplinary research on race. He has explored these ideas in essays in Critical Research on Religion, Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, and Philosophy & Social Criticism. Across this work he focuses on the limits of liberal political thought in the face of mounting global crises.
Reaffirmation and Resistance: Contrasting Apocalyptic Imaginaries in a Global Pandemic
This project examines the way that apocalyptic imagery has been used by reformers and reactionaries during the global pandemic. Though there are important differences in their opposing political visions, both groups ultimately reaffirm the world. One wants to make the world better and the other desires a return to an imagined golden age, but neither questions the injustices fundamental to the world. Apocalyptic imagery, for all of its apparent radicalness, often plays a role in this reaffirmation. In response to these uses of apocalypticism, I outline an alternative ethic. This project extends beyond the current crisis, as the pandemic is unlikely to be the only ‘end of the world’ navigated in the 21st century. Most obviously, the impact of climate change will be felt more acutely by an ever-growing percentage of the world’s population. Drawing on my previous research in political theology, continental philosophy and the study of race, I argue that there is political utility in imagining the end of a world that can be resisted, but not escaped.