Political Theology for a Plural Age

ISBN : 9780199769278

Michael Jon Kessler
288 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jun 2013
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Political theology has traditionally explored the legitimization of political authority on the basis of divine revelation and of natural reason informed by religious authority, texts, and traditions. New challenges emerging in the postwar era gave rise to ongoing debate about the place of religion in public life, in the United States and in other established democracies, and this debate has dramatically reshaped the way scholars, policymakers, and religious leaders think about political theology. Political Theology for a Plural Age provides historic and contemporary understandings of political engagement in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, engaging political theologies not merely as a set of theoretical concepts but as religious beliefs and principles that motivate specific political action. The essays in this volume, written by leading thinkers and practitioners within each tradition and their secular counterparts, examine a number of core issues at the intersection of religion and politics. They contest the definition of political theology, establish a common discourse across the three Abrahamic traditions, and closely examine how globalization, secularization, and pluralism affect the construction and plausibility of political theologies. Finally, the essays offer insight into how political theologies might adapt to the shared global challenges of the twenty-first century.


Introduction, Michael Kessler
Part I: Theologies of the Political: A Conversation
Jose Casanova, Michael Kessler, Mark Lilla, and John Milbank
Part II: Domesticating Religion: The Abrahamic Faiths and the Democratic State
Chapter 2: The Great Combination: Modern Political Thought and the Collapse of the Two Cities, Patrick Deneen
Chapter 3: The Emergence and Development of Liberal Jewish Political Theology, Jerome Copulsky
Chapter 4: Christianity and the Rise of the Democratic State, Eric Gregory
Chapter 5: Is the King a Democrat? The Politics of Islam in Morocco, Paul Heck
Part III: Confronting Pluralism: Main Trends in Political Theologies Today
Chapter 6: Difference, Resemblance, Dialogue: Some Goals for Comparative Political Theology in a Plural Age, Michael Kessler
Chapter 7: "Reading" the Status of Public Theologies: Rhetorical Analysis of the Media Construction of Political Islam, Elizabeth Bucar
Chapter 8: The Future of Political Theology: From Crisis to Pluralism, Robin Lovin
Chapter 9: Doing Political Theology Today, David Novak
Chapter 10: Augustinian Christian Republican Citizenship, Charles Mathewes
Chapter 11: Islamic Political Theologies and International Relations, Jocelyne Cesari

About the author: 

Associate Director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs

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