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The Mighty and the Almighty
An Essay in Political Theology

$113.00 (C)

  • Date Published: August 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107027312

$ 113.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • For a century or more political theology has been in decline. Recent years, however, have seen increasing interest not only in how church and state should be related, but in the relation between divine authority and political authority, and in what religion has to say about the limits of state authority and the grounds of political obedience. In this book, Nicholas Wolterstorff addresses this whole complex of issues. He takes account of traditional answers to these questions, but on every point stakes out new positions. Wolterstorff offers a fresh theological defense of liberal democracy, argues that the traditional doctrine of 'two rules' should be rejected and offers a fresh exegesis of Romans 13; the canonical biblical passage for the tradition of Christian political theology. This book provides useful discussion for scholars and students of political theology, law and religion, philosophy of religion and social ethics.

    • Offers a fresh account of the relation between divine and political authority which clarifies the relation between God and the state
    • Presents a new theological defense of the liberal democratic state which seeks to dispel scholarly hostility towards it
    • Combats the common idea that St Paul promoted political passivity in his letter to the Romans
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is an important book that advanced students of theology and political theory will find provocative and insightful."

    "The Mighty and the Almighty is probably the most important English-language contribution to a constructive theology of political authority since Oliver O'Donovan's The Desire of the Nations."
    Studies in Christian Ethics

    "Nicholas Wolterstorff guides the reader through the world of political theology, in a way that is refreshingly clear and well reasoned. The book … retain[s] the conversational tone and accessibility required in a lecture and desirable in any written introduction to a complex field. … It is refreshingly Christian in its approach … a lively analysis of the freedom the Church ought to enjoy in the liberal democratic state."
    Stephen Farrell, Search: A Church of Ireland Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107027312
    • length: 190 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Framing the issues: understanding Polycarp
    2. Yoder's objection to our framing of the issues
    3. The two cities objection to our framing of the issues
    4. Authority
    5. Governance
    6. Authority to govern
    7. Calvin on God, governmental authority, and obedience
    8. What did Paul actually say?
    9. God's governance of humankind
    10. Recap
    11. The political implications of the nature and existence of the Church
    12. Discarding the two rules doctrine
    13. The rights-limited state
    14. Sphere sovereignty and the authority of the state
    15. Revisiting Polycarp

  • Author

    Nicholas Wolterstorff, Yale University, Connecticut
    Nicholas Wolterstorff is Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology at Yale University and Senior Fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia. He is the author of several publications, including Divine Discourse (Cambridge University Press, 1995), John Locke and the Ethics of Belief (Cambridge University Press, 1996), Practices of Belief, Volumes 1 and 2 (edited with Terence Cuneo, Cambridge University Press, 2010) and Justice: Rights and Wrongs (2010).

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