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Christianity and Contemporary Politics
The Conditions and Possibilities of Faithful Witness
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"Over the past decade political theology has become one of the most energetic (and polemical) conversations in the field of theology. Bretherton (King's College London) makes a signal contribution to these debates as a voice characterized by critical charity. While the field has tended to line up in camps (e.g., Niebuhrians vs. Hauenvasians), Bretherton is eager to affirm what's right in both without shrinking from criticizing either. The great virtue of this book is that it moves the conversation from the abstract environs of national politics and "church-state" questions to the nitty-gritty environs of the municipal pursuit of the common good (or rather, as Bretherton emphasizes, goods in common). Changing the scope and scale of the question, the book provides a fresh analysis through a series of case studies that are attentive to place--considering, for example, the community organizing of Saul Alinsky (the space of Obama's apprenticeship) as a case of the church concretely impacting the shared space of common goods. Neither beset by worries about Constantinianism, nor motivated by pretensions to Christendom, this book deserves wide attention." (CHOICE, December 2010) "I cannot commend it highly enough." (Regent's Reviews, 1 October 2010) Bretherton is one of the most helpful voices engaging culture in a way that results in robust witness and faithful Gospel proclamation. And so this book is enthusiastically recommended to all concerned with relevant Christian witness in ever changing Western political situations. (European Journal of Theology, 2010)
Bloggat om Christianity and Contemporary Politics
Luke Bretherton is Senior Lecturer in Theology and Politics, and Convener of the Faith and Public Policy Forum at King's College London. He has worked with a variety of faith-based NGOs, missions, and churches in several national and international contexts. He is the author of Hospitality as Holiness: Christian Witness Amid Moral Diversity (2006) and Reviews Editor for the journal Political Theology .
Preface. Acknowledgments. Introduction. The Terms and Conditions of Political Life. Religion and Postsecular Politics. Theological Politics and the Ecclesial-Turn. Summary of Aims and Methodology. 1. Faith-Based Organizations and the Emerging Shape of Church-State Relations. Introduction. "Working Together": The Shaping of Relations between the State and Religious Groups in a Multi-Faith Society. Social Cohesion, Social Capital, and the "Salvation" of Civil Society. Liberalism and the Continuing Requirements of Public Reason. Theological Politics and the Question of What Constitutes Faithful Witness. Ecclesiology and the Political Mission of the Church. Summary. 2. Local: Augustine, Alinsky, and the Politics of the Common Good. Introduction. The Alinsky Approach: The Work of Broad-Based Community Organizing. Eschatology, Politics, and the Mutual Ground of the Saeculum. Christian Realism Redivivus ? A Thomistic Democratic Politics? Reweaving Civil Society. Politics without Piety Is Pitiless; Piety without Politics Is Pitiful. Summary. 3. National: Christian Cosmopolitanism, Refugees, and the Politics of Proximity. Introduction. Theological Politics and the Liberal Democratic Response to Refugees. Refugees as Bare Life. Bare Life and the Limits of Humanitarianism. Hallowing Bare Life: A Doxological Response. Hallowed Be Thy Name. Sanctuary: The Practice of Hallowing Bare Life. Summary. 4. Global: Consumerism, Fair Trade, and the Politics of Ordinary Time. Introduction. Defining Political Consumerism. Consumerism and the Formation of Desire. Political Consumerism as Apprenticeship in the Virtues. Political Consumerism as Neighbor Love. Fair Trade as Contradiction. Fair Trade, Globalization and the Emergence of Political Consumerism. Ordinary Politics and the Peace of Babylon. Summary. Conclusion: Toward a Politics of Hospitality and a Theology of Politics. Epilogue. Bibliography. Index.