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By Giorgio Agamben

This e-book is a continuation of Giorgio Agamben's research of political concept, which started with the hugely influential quantity Homo Sacer: Sovereign strength and naked Life. Having already traced the roots of the assumption of sovereignty, sacredness, and financial system, he now turns to a probably not going subject: the concept that of the oath. Following the Italian student Paolo Prodi, Agamben sees the oath as foundational for Western politics and undertakes an exploration of the roots of the phenomenon of the oath in human adventure. He rejects the typical concept that the oath reveals its starting place in faith, arguing in its place that the oath issues towards a selected reaction to the adventure of language, a reaction that gave start to either faith and legislations as we now recognize them. This ebook is necessary not just for readers of Agamben or of continental philosophy extra commonly, yet for an individual attracted to questions in relation to the relationships between faith, legislations, and language.

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ISBN 978-0-8047-6897-9 (cloth : alk paper) ISBN 978-0-8047-6898-6 (pbk: alk. paper) 1. Oaths—History. 2. Oaths—Philosophy. three. Language and languages—Philosophy. I. Kotsko, Adam. II. name. III. sequence: Meridian (Stanford, Calif. ) GT3085A3313 2011 128—dc22 2010018153 Contents Translators notice Abbreviations The Sacrament of Language Bibliography ix x i j$ Von diesen Vorgangenen meldet kein Zeuge; sie zu verstehn bietet unser eignes Bewusstsein keinen Anhalt. Nur eine Urkunde ist uns von ihnen geblieben, so schweigsam dem unkundigen, wie beredt dem kundigen: die Sprache. (No witness reviews those occasions; our personal cognizance deals no grounds to appreciate them. just one record is left to us through them, as silent to the ignorant because it is eloquent to the skilled: language. ) —Hermann Usener Der Schematismus der VerstandesbegriiFe ist . . . ein Augenblick in welchem Metaphysik und Physik beide Ufer zugleich beriihren Styx interfuscu (The schematism of the thoughts of the intellect... is an immediate within which the shorelines of metaphysics and physics make touch Styx interfusa. ) —Immanuel Kant Translator s word The translator want to thank Giorgio Agamben, Kevin Attell, Daniel Colucciello Barber, Joshua Furnal, Ted Jennings, and Virgil Brower for his or her urged advancements; Nunzio N. D'Alessio, Dennis Hou, Evan Kuehn, Craig McFarlane, and Yotam Pappo for bibliographical guidance; and Emily-Jane Cohen, Sarah Crane Newman, and the remainder of the workers of Stanford college Press. present English translations were used anyplace attainable, although occasionally altered to mirror the interpretation supplied by means of the writer; citations of recent texts the place a translation is obtainable have the unique web page numbers by means of the English variation mentioned, whereas premodern texts are stated in keeping with common textual divisions. All biblical quotations are taken from the recent Revised average model. All different translations are my very own, performed in session with the authors translations. IX Abbreviations Aen. Ann. Apol Cra. Mens. II. Inst Metaph. Od PL Pyth. Rep. Theog. Tib. Verr. x Aeneid(Virgil) Annales (Tacitus) Apologeticus (Tertullian) Cratylus (Plato) De mensibus (Lydus) The Iliad(Homer) associations (Gaius) Metaphysics (Aristode) The Odyssey (Homer) Patrologia Latina (J. -R Migne, ed. ) Pythian Odes (Pindar) Republic (Plato) Theogonia (Hesiod) lifetime of Tiberius (Suetonius) the 1st Oration opposed to Verres (Cicero) THE SACRAMENT OF LANGUAGE i. In 1992 Paolo Prodi's booklet Ilsacramento delpotere (The Sacrament of energy) forcefully known as awareness to the decisive significance of the oath within the political background of the West, positioned on the intersection of faith and politics, the oath not just testifies to that "dual belonging" (Prodi, 522) that defines, in accordance with the writer, the specificity and energy of Western Christian tradition. it's also, in fact—and this can be the analysis from which his e-book begins—the "basis of the political pact within the historical past of the West" (ibid,, n ) .

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