Christianity and Politics: A Brief Guide to the History

Christianity and Politics A Brief Guide to the History Description It is not simply for rhetorical flourish that politicians so regularly invoke God s blessings on the country It is because the relatively new form of power we call the nation state arose o

  • Title: Christianity and Politics: A Brief Guide to the History
  • Author: C.C. Pecknold
  • ISBN: 9781556352423
  • Page: 429
  • Format: Paperback
  • Description It is not simply for rhetorical flourish that politicians so regularly invoke God s blessings on the country It is because the relatively new form of power we call the nation state arose out of a Western political imagination steeped in Christianity In this brief guide to the history of Christianity and politics, Pecknold shows how early Christianity reshapeDescription It is not simply for rhetorical flourish that politicians so regularly invoke God s blessings on the country It is because the relatively new form of power we call the nation state arose out of a Western political imagination steeped in Christianity In this brief guide to the history of Christianity and politics, Pecknold shows how early Christianity reshaped the Western political imagination with its new theological claims about eschatological time, participation, and communion with God and neighbor The ancient view of the Church as the mystical body of Christ is singled out in particular as the author traces shifts in its use and meaning throughout the early, medieval, and modern periods shifts in how we understand the nature of the person, community and the moral conscience that would give birth to a new relationship between Christianity and politics While we have many accounts of this narrative from either political or ecclesiastical history, we have few that avoid the artificial separation of the two This book fills that gap and presents a readable, concise, and thought provoking introduction to what is at stake in the contentious relationship between Christianity and politics Endorsements Political theology thinking theologically about politics and understanding all political thought as first and last theological is a lively field that until now has lacked a lucid and elegantly brief introduction Pecknold s book fills that gap, and it makes a real theoretical contribution of its own, most notably in its treatment of the migration of the treatment of conscience from church to state, and the effects of that migration on the understanding of freedom, political and otherwise Paul J Griffiths, Warren Chair of Catholic Theology, Duke Divinity School Modern life and thought has a centripetal force, separating into discrete units what should be held together politics, economics, theology, metaphysics, liturgy, and history This division of labor creates specialists who can see the units but lack focus for a larger vision In this substantive, readable, brief history of the relation between theology and politics, Pecknold focuses our vision by bringing together his own considerable acumen for both theology and politics This comprehensive work shows connections that only someone of his breadth of knowledge could see The result is a first rate work that sets the bar for political theology D Stephen Long, Professor of Systematic Theology, Marquette University If it is true that youth is wasted on the young, then to restrict this so called primer only to beginning learners or students would be wasteful in the extreme This is a first rate book, a serious and fascinating work on theology and politics that masquerades as a gateway resource Yet it also succeeds as an outstanding introduction readable without being simplistic, engaging key voices and eras in the long interaction between Christianity and politics I can t wait to use this book with students, both to give them a solid grounding in key ideas and sources, as well as whetting their appetites for joining in these crucial conversations and debates Anyone with an interest in the church and politics will benefit from this book Michael Budde, Professor of Political Science, DePaul University At last I have found a textbook for my undergraduate course on Christianity and Politics Pecknold s book is brief and crystal clear, ideally suited to supplement primary source readings in an introductory class This book helps the student grasp the sweep of Christianity s political history in a relatively few deft strokes The broad brush approach does not mean the book is simplistic, however To the contrary, Pecknold s analysis is insightful, engaging, and at times contentious Pecknold shows how theological concepts like mystical body have wandered in and out of different political arrangements In so doing, h

    One thought on “Christianity and Politics: A Brief Guide to the History”

    1. This fantastic little book sets the stage for Christian political discourse. It is my most often recommended book to friends who care about this stuff. A must-read.

    2. This work does not feel like an introduction. It reads like a kind of tour: of themes, trajectories and fissures; something like the guided tours at the MET in New York or the National Gallery in London. In Christianity and Politics, Pecknold traces the threads of people and ideas who have provided the West with its political imagination. Drawing on the Catholic theologian Henri de Lubac, and the political theorist, Sheldon Wolin as duel 'guides', Pecknold opens up enough of the 'imaginary' of t [...]

    3. Read this book after reading a review for it by Dr. Peter Leithart. It is a history of the Eucharist and the mystical body of Christ and how this has been misapplied and migrated from the Christian people universally to ethnicity and nation states. We now call ourselves Irish, or American, or Texan before we would identify ourselves as Christian. Nationalism is a modern day attempt to see an ethno culture as a mystical body using Christian ideas, and that we need to deconstruct our enlightenment [...]

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