Illusions of a Future:Ishiguro, Liberalism, Political Theology

Bradley, Arthur Humphrey (2018) Illusions of a Future:Ishiguro, Liberalism, Political Theology. Political Theology, 19 (7). pp. 638-642. ISSN 1462-317X

PDF (Future_of_an_Illusion)
Future_of_an_Illusion.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (264kB)


This article explores the fate of political theology in Kazuo Ishiguro’s speculative fiction Never Let Me Go (2005) and, by implication, in contemporary fiction more broadly. To pursue a reading of Christianity that extends from Hegel through Lacan to Žižek, the article argues that political theology’s future may perversely lie in a materialism emptied of all transcendental guarantees: political theology is the historically privileged master fantasy or illusion which reveals the fantastic or illusory status of our entire relation to the real in (neo-)liberal modernity. In conclusion, the article argues that Ishiguro’s fiction may thus be read less as a melancholic dystopian study in total ideological capture or surrender than as the representation of a state of immanent freedom beyond the power relations of (neo-)liberal subjectivity.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Political Theology
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Political Theology on 29/08/2018, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
12 Sep 2018 14:00
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 06:18