About Theopopedia

Theopopedia is a peer reviewed academic resource dealing with the history of theologico-political concepts.

Hosted by the Department of Humanities of the University of Trento (Italy), it is being developed by an international network of scholars from different backgrounds (history of political thought, history of law, philosophy, history, theology, jewish studies, islamic studies, etc.) under the supervision of the Editorial board. Through its entries, it aims to explore questions related to “political theology” from an historical perspective, by investigating concepts within which politics and religion always seem to have been inextricably intertwined. Entries on a number of authors in the field of “political theology” are also included. Theopopedia is constantly expanding: contributions and proposals are welcomed.

Subject and method

Theopopedia aims to explore the mutual constitution of political, juridical and theological ideas and practices (see references to learn more).

An historical, rather than sociological or normative, approach has been chosen: some key concepts and figures which demonstrate the overlap between politics and religion are considered, and their origin and historical development are closely examined. Particular attention is paid to Western traditions and the three monotheistic religions, but other traditions and religions are not excluded and proposals exploring them are welcomed. There are also entries on thinkers and writers who have contributed – in different times and places – to the study of “political theology”, both from a theoretical and an historical perspective (see structure of entries to learn more).

The history of Theopopedia

Theopopedia has created a platform for the sharing and nurturing of research in the intertwined fields of politics and religion. It brings together wide-ranging contributions on the relationship between the two, an area in which the Department of Humanities of the University of Trento has been working for many years. In this time, the Department has organized several international study seminars on the history of theologico-political concepts and has edited a number of publications. The academic journal “Politica e Religione”, published by Morcelliana, contains the most important results of the study seminars; several contributions are now available on Theopopedia.

Structure of entries

Theopopedia includes two kinds of entry:

1. Entries on concepts: each entry begins with a brief presentation (in English), intended to highlight the concept’s two-dimensionality – political and theological – and to introduce its historical development and changes. The presentation content is further developed by several in-depth articles (Spanish, French, German, Italian are welcomed too), each of them focused on a specific topic (a period, one or more authors, a sacred text etc.). This allows us to analyse specific stages of the historical development of the overlapping of religion and politics within each concept.

2. Entries on authors: each entry includes a short biography and an analysis of the author’s work, with a focus on their “political theology”.

Scholarly standards

Theopopedia is an academic online publication, published by the University of Trento under the supervision of an editorial board and with an ISBN (see how to cite Theopopedia properly). The submission and review process for articles is the same as that for printed academic journals and books. The blind peer review process is rigorous and meets high academic standards. More specifically, an author submits an article to the editors, who read through it and send the proposed article to qualified referees. There are usually two referees per article. The editors evaluate the reviews from the referees, make a decision whether to publish, and send a recommendation to the author.

When necessary, articles may also be revised by the authors after publication. Nevertheless, previous versions of revised articles will be archived on the website, in order to allow scholarly citation by making the former content verifiable at any time.


Here are some useful references for more in-depth information about “theologico-political concepts” and “political theology”. Our bibliography is not meant to be complete and is a work in progress: suggestions and additions are welcomed.

  • Assmann J., Herrschaft und Heil, Politische Theologie in Altägypten, Israel und Europa, Hanser, München 2000.
  • Assmann J., Die mosaische Unterscheidung oder der Preis des Monotheismus, Hanser, München 2003.
  • Böckenförde W., Politische Theorie und politische Theologie, in Taubes J. (ed.), Der Fürst dieser Welt. Carl Schmitt und die Folgen, Fink, München 1983.
  • Casey S. – Kessler M. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Political Theology, Oxford University Press, New York 2014.
  • Ehrhardt A.A.T., Politische Metaphysik von Solon bis Augustinuns, 3 Bd., Mohr, Tübingen 1959-1969 (Bd. I).
  • Feil E., Von der ‚Politischen Theologie’ zur ‚Theologie der Befreiung’, in Feil E. -Weth R. (eds.), Diskussion zur Theologie der Revolution, Kaiser, München 1969.
  • Hepp R., “ Theologie, politische”, in Ritter J. (ed.), Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, Vol. 10, Schwabe, Basel 1998. 1105-1112.
  • Lefort C., Permanence du théologico-politique?, in «Le temps de la réflexion», 2(1981), collected within Essais sur le politique, XIXe-XXe siècles, Éditions du Seuil, Paris, 1986, pp. 251-300.
  • Meier C., Was ist politische Theologie? in J. Assmann (ed.), Politische Theologie zwischen Ägypten und Israel, Carl Friedrich von Siemens-Stiftung, München 1995, p. 3-18.
  • Nicoletti M. – Sartori L., Teologia politica, EDB, Bologna 1991.
  • Nicoletti M., Teologia politica, in Enciclopedia Filosofica, Bompiani, Milano 2006, p. 11449-11450.
  • Nicoletti M., Teologia politica’ e filosofia politica, in Filoramo G. (ed.), Teologie politiche: modelli a confronto, Morcelliana, Brescia 2005, p. 371-386.
  • Ottmann H., Politische Theologie als Begriffsgeschichte, in Gerhardt V. (ed.), Der Begriff der Politik, Bedingungen und Gründe politischen Handelns, Metzler, Stuttgart 1990, 169 – 188.
  • Scott P. – Cavanaugh T.W. (eds.), The Blackwell companion to political theology, Blackwell, Mass 2004.
  • Taubes J. (ed.), Der Fürst dieser Welt. Carl Schmitt und die Folgen, Fink, München 1983.
  • Taubes J. (ed.) Theokratie, Fink, München 1987.
  • Taubes J. (ed.), Gnosis und Politik, Fink, München 1984.
  • Taubes J., Die Politische Theologie des Paulus, ed. by A. and J. Assmann, Fink, München 1993.
  • Wiedenhofer S., Politische Theologie, Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 1976.


Academic journals and special issues: