Church, State and Civil Society

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Januar 2005



The rich tradition of Christian political theology demands renewed attention, particularly at a time when secular liberalism is in crisis and when the civic contribution of religion is being re-assessed. This book explores the relationship of the church both to the state and civil institutions, drawing specifically on the concept of civil society. It offers a critical assessment of the effect of the First Amendment in the United States and, in a concluding chapter, defends the argument for continuing disestablishment in England and Scotland.


1. The politics of scripture; 2. Church and state: theological traditions; 3. Crises of liberalism; 4. The Theological case for toleration; 5. Moral formation: the church's contribution; 6. Modern social theology: Barmen and Vatican II; 7. Church and nation; 8. In the twilight of establishment.


David Fergusson is Professor of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh.


'... a balanced, well-informed and readable historical survey.' Church Times '... an impressive array of evidence from scripture, historical theology, ecclesiology and political theory, providing much useful material for practitioners and students to reflect on.' Reviews in Religion and Theology 'Fergusson has written a useful and stimulating book which I warmly commend.' Theology '... an elegant, accessible and measured discussion about the potential role of the church in contributing to cicil society in the twenty-first century. The writing is scholarly, marked by precision, based on a deep and smoothly assimilated knowledge of church history, and displaying an ironic and ecumenical spirit. Undergraduates and intelligent members of the public, as well as more advanced students and specialists in the field of religion and politics, will find much of interest to reflect upon here. ... offers guidance for Christians who seek ways to combine fidelity in their discipleship with a critical and creative engagement as citizens; it shows them they can be confident and constructive in this double task. It also offers reassurance to those outside of religious faith that efforts to influence society by religious groups do not constitute a front for, nor need lead inevitably to, theocratic intrusion, unwarranted interference of the defence of narrowly sectarian interests.' The Heythrop Journal
EAN: 9780521822398
ISBN: 0521822394
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Januar 2005
Seitenanzahl: 213 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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