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Category Archives: Political Theology

Religion for Radicals

The Immanent Frame has an interview up with Terry Eagleton that is well-worth a read. Here are just a couple of his memorable quotes: Religion has become a very comfortable ideology for a dollar-worshipping culture. The scandal of the New Testament—the fact that it backs what America calls the losers, that it thinks the dispossessed […]

Authentic Protest and the Church

A precondition for authentic protest is that there be a committed community; our word for that is “church,” but of course that is another word which most people use with other meanings. That body must not be the same as the entire society or nation. There must be a critical mass of like-minded people, sustaining […]

Rusty Reno Hugs the Chimera

To fill out a bit more from my last post, at First Things, Rusty Reno has sounded off on the whole Tiller incident, proclaiming vehemently that this whole issue is really about the importance of legitimate authority: It is a moral luxury for modern men and women to discount the tremendous importance of the principle […]

Remembering Romero

Dave Horstkoetter offers a good reminder that today marks the anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero. Romero is one of only two bishops who have ever been assassinated while performing the Mass, the other being Thomas Beckett. Both of these men were instituted into their positions on the assumption that they would be […]

Justice and Rights

Nicholas Wolterstorff’s new book, Justice is getting some pretty extensive treatment over at the Immanent Frame, always on the forefront of discussions about the church, modernity, and public affairs. Jamie Smith gives the book a particularly good skewering in a couple posts. Bottom lie from Jamie is that antipathy towards the modern language of rights […]

The Ethics of Witness

In his Free in Obedience, William Stringfellow takes up an absolutely vital point regarding the nature of Christian political ethics, what he terms “the ethic of witness”. The ethics of witness “means that the essential and consistent task of Christians is to expose the transience of death’s power in the world.” Herein lies the fundamental […]

Vinoth Ramachandra on Christian Faithfulness

There is a great interview with Sri Lankan lay theologian, Vinoth Ramachandra, the author of the excellent book, Subverting Global Myths. Here is a quote from the interview in which Ramachandra talks a bit about what he thinks Christian faithfulness means (or should mean) in our world: My fundamental conviction remains the absolute lordship of […]

Violence and Anarchism

The critic of any Christian appropriation of anarchism tends to argue that anarchy is more violent than the current order, and, as such always inherently worse than our desires to oppose whatever hegemony happens to be in place. It seems incontrovertible that the recommendation of anarchism is, by its very nature more violent, dangerous, and […]

True Revolution

“This, then, is the revolutionary situation: to be revolutionary is to judge the world by its present state, by actual facts, in the name of a truth which does not yet exist (but which is coming) — and it is to do so because we believe this truth to be more genuine and more real […]

Elections, Nations, and God

The right of national self-determination does not exist in the Bible. Before God nations have neither a right to exist nor a right to liberty. They have no assurance of perpetuity. On the contrary, the lesson of the Bible seems to be that nations are swept away like dead leaves and that occasionally, almost by […]

Cynicism and Hope

Yet another forthcoming book from Wipf and Stock that I think is worthy of mention is Cynicism and Hope: Reclaiming Democracy in a Postdemocratic Society. It is collection of essays dealing with the dynamics of a properly tempered cynicism in relation to the current political culture. Some of the particularly notable essays come from Peter […]

Barth the Radical

While theology in the United States has enjoyed a renewed interest in the theology of Karl Barth, many crucial aspects of his thought have been neglected. I sometimes wonder whether the sort of “Barth exegesis” that its common today tends towards a rather rationalistic sort of scholasticism. Certainly many of the debates about Barth’s theology […]

Freedom and the Experience of Choice

In the world dominated by Western culture, the language of freedom has come to mean one specific thing: the ability to chose without constraint. This is a theological problem. What Robert Jenson rightly calls “the spurious freedom of unaffectedness” is ingrained in our imaginations from our earliest moments of life. We are trained and schooled […]

The Powerlessness That Must be Silenced

Well, I should be reading some of the new and excellent books that I have sitting about my room right now such as J. Kameron Carter’s Race: A Theological Account or Ted Smith’s The New Measures. Soon enough. For now I’m still re-reading some old favorites, namely Hart’s The Beauty of the Infinite and Alan […]

Christian Politics as Anarchic Liberation

Commenting on Karl Barth’s radical theological politics in the second edition of Karl Barth’s Romans commentary, Paul Chung makes the following argument: “…Christian politics, which is a demonstration, witness and parable of the eschatology of God as totaliter aliter, becomes meaningful in light of God’s gracious action in Jesus Christ. Theological radicalism of eschatological vigor as […]

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