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Fugitive DemocracyAnd Other Essays$
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Sheldon S. Wolin and Nicholas Xenos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133645

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133645.001.0001

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Political Theory

Political Theory

From Vocation to Invocation

Chapter:
(p.33) Chapter 2 Political Theory
Source:
Fugitive Democracy
Author(s):

Sheldon S. Wolin

, Nicholas Xenos
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691133645.003.0002

This chapter presents the author's reflections about vocation and invocation. He says that while vocation is associated with “calling” and is freighted with a rich genealogy, invocation is associated with “recalling,” and its genealogy or theoretical relevance seems, at first glance, unpromising, since it is apt to be associated with defect, as in the recall of faulty cars. But defect suggests that something is missing, and invocation does have that association. In ancient Rome an invocation was an appeal to a departed deity. While vocation implies action, a practice, invocation may be said to imply memory and to enjoin recovery. Vocation predicates a certain commitment, “ideal” though not disinterested, to the particular practice in question. Invocation is a response to a certain kind of loss.

Keywords:   political theory, vocation, invocation

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