Hans Kelsen’s Political Theology: Science, Pantheism, and Democracy

Benjamin A. Schupmann


This article argues that the field of political theology should pay greater attention to Hans Kelsen. Kelsen developed a unique, epistemological form of political theology. For Kelsen, a subject’s beliefs about what is knowable determines the form of theology and jurisprudence both. He argued that subscribing to a modern scientific epistemology led one to embrace a pantheist theology and democracy. Drawing on the structural analogy between theology and jurisprudence, Kelsen offered an alternative theory of democratic legitimacy. He argued that pantheism’s immanent conception of the divine, of truth and right, is a model for understanding democratic legitimacy. Democratic proceduralism is valid because it generates valid law relatively and immanently, not absolutely and transcendently.


Hans Kelsen, Political Theology, Democracy, Relativism, Science


PDF (English)


  • Im Moment gibt es keine Refbacks