Religious and Political Dimensions of Authorship

© Universitätsverlag Winter

The book “In der Gesellschaft des Autors” by Matthias Schaffrick explores religious and political dimensions of authorship. Authorship, i.e. writing and publishing texts, is unterstood as a strategy of self-authorisation. Starting from this assumption Schaffrick analyses the characteristic of these strategies in texts by the German author Martin Mosebach, the former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt and the theologian Joseph Ratzinger and later Pope Benedict XVI. Doing so, the book asks from a philological point of view, how their religious and political representations of authorship fit into the image of a secular or post-secular society.

Schaffrick concludes that – according to the famous Böckenförde-dilemma – authorship is part of the social prerequisites which the state cannot guarantee itself. In contrast to Michel Foucault, who focuses on the relation between author and text in his seminal reflections on the question of “What is an Author”, Schaffrick argues for the social – not only literary, but also religious and political – impact of authorship.

Literature: Schaffrick, Matthias, In der Gesellschaft des Autors. Religiöse und politische Inszenierungen von Autorschaft (Reihe Siegen. Beiträge zur Literatur-, Sprach- und Medienwissenschaft, vol. 171), Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter 2014.