This chapter lays the theoretical foundations for the analyses in this volume, which focus on “agency as melancholic freedom”. Framing the challenges of the difficult terms of “agency” and “melancholy” captures the sentiments, dispositions, and experiences of the piety to freedom that have been fundamental to modernity and to late modernity or postmodernity. Agency as the spirit of politics; and relationships between the religious, the moral-ethical, and the political are discussed.
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