Dr. Carmen Dege

Areas of specialization:

Political Theology, Modern Mythologies, Democratic Theory, and Philosophies of Self and Other

Areas of competence:

Political Theory, Critical Theory, Existentialism, Political Psychology, Genealogies of Secularism and Religion


Dr. Carmen Lea Dege received her PhD in 2019 from Political Science at Yale University and works on questions of religion and politics, secularism and democratic theory. She is particularly interested in Max Weber’s diagnosis of modernity and how it relates to the history of populism and identity politics since the inter-war period. Her dissertation, “The Politics of Non-Indifference: Max Weber’s Challenge and Karl Jaspers’s Response,” analyzes the potential contribution of the existentialist philosopher and psychologist Karl Jaspers to contemporary crises in democratic societies. She specifically illustrates the extent to which our fundamental differences connect us in moments of struggle, disagreement, and frustration.

Dr. Dege was awarded a Polonsky Fellowship to pursue a postdoctoral project titled “The Metaphysics of Post-Metaphysical Politics: Truth, Meaning, and Myth in Liberalism.” It investigates the role of religion and metaphysics in contemporary political thought and engages the return of myth in Benjamin, Cassirer, Blumenberg, and Jaspers as an attempt to move beyond the impasse of post-metaphysical versus ontological approaches to questions of identity.

Before finishing at Yale and becoming a Polonsky Fellow, Dr. Dege received a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago (Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences) and a Diploma degree in Political Science from Freie Universität Berlin.


  • “Bound by Disenchantment, Review of This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, by Martin Hägglund,” New Rambler Review, September 18, 2019.
  • “Diversity in Unity in Disenchanted Times: Max Weber’s Challenge and Karl Jaspers’s Response,” Philosophy & Social Criticism, Summer 2019 (online version).
  • “Foucault and Humanism: Meditations on an Ethos of Limit,” Journal of Political Thought, vol. 1, no. 1, 2015, 18-36.