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      Confession by the Deed: Asserting Anabaptist Ecclesiopolitical Performativity

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          Abstract

          The “propaganda by the deed” is a 19th-century anarchist notion emphasizing the communicative power of action in revealing the non-inevitability of human political organization. In this article, I offer a reading of the 1527 Schleitheim Confession in light of this notion. Schleitheim is similarly animated by an assertion of possibility: ecclesial and worldly sovereign order are not inevitable, but can be remade. Schleitheim gives us in detailed rigor techniques by which the ecclesiopolitical community can be shaped. In giving us these practices—including regulations on baptism, church discipline, and the election of leaders, among others—the text seems aware that this new community, too, is not inevitable. This becomes especially apparent in its closing statements, instructing its followers to refuse the swearing of oaths. Instead of such sovereign guarantees, it points toward the lived practice of the community as what we might call the confession by the deed, as a form of life that is never guaranteed, but must be lived, interminably to be restaged and reasserted.

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          Most cited references9

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          On the political

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            Post-Foundational Political Thought. Political Difference in Nancy, Lefort, Badiou and Laclau

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              “The Schleitheim Confession of Faith.”

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                NTT
                NTT Journal for Theology and the Study of Religion
                Amsterdam University Press (Amsterdam )
                2542-6583
                2590-3268
                November 2023
                : 77
                : 4
                : 277-287
                Affiliations
                Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculty of Religion and Theology (Mennonite Seminary); Luxembourg School of Religion and Society
                Author information
                https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5920-8509
                Article
                NTT2023.4.006.HOOG
                10.5117/NTT2023.4.006.HOOG
                2a745944-2aa7-49a9-a086-4b2d0f148a31
                © Marius van Hoogstraten
                History
                Categories
                Articles

                Chantal Mouffe,Oath,Michael Sattler,Political,Anarchism,Anabaptism

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