Secular Theology, Political Poetics, and ACT UP: On Meaning-making and Resistance

Jordan E. Miller

Abstract


This paper is a secular political theological reading of The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). It is oriented toward the poetic act of meaning-making, political resistance, and theology of desire. ACT UP was a non-religious, and at times anti-religious organization, so it might seem odd at first to write a theology of it. I justify this endeavor broadly by ar- guing for a theological thinking oriented toward desire, mean- ing-making, and the creation of alternate possible worlds. The implication is that theology is always already political. That al- lows for both political readings of the theological and, per- haps more controversially, theological readings of the politi- cal. In that spirit and examining ACT UP’s general engage- ment with death and political funerals specifically, this paper will examine a secular political organization like ACT UP through a theological lens. 


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References


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