Christian Approaches to Political Engagement
The history of Christianity's relationship to government is long and complex. From the glory days of the Holy Roman Empire, when church and state were virtually synonymous, to the present day's dizzying array of denominations and forms of government, Christian ideas about the state have varied tremendously. This book will attempt to bring order to the chaos by offering essays on how particular branches of the Christian tradition-Catholic, reformed, evangelical, etc.-view the institution of the modern state. Each chapter begins by discussing the historical roots of a particular tradition, moves on to address the theological distinctives of that tradition, and finally discusses the ways in which the theological beliefs about the appropriate role of the state influence political behavior. The essays will not be limited geographically, but will rather look at each tradition as broadly as possible, from the institutionalized (but not necessarily thriving) churches of Europe, to the independent Christian movements of Africa, to the vibrant religious marketplace of the United States.
Contributors; 1. . Introduction; SANDRA F. JOIREMAN; 2. The Catholic Tradition and the State: Natural, Necessary and Nettlesome; ROBERT B. SHELLEDY; 3. Lutheranism and Politics: Martin Luther as a Modernizer, but for the Devil; TIMOTHY J. LOMPERIS; 4. Reformed and Always Reforming?; JAMES W. SKILLEN; 5. Anabaptists and the State: An Uneasy Coexistence; SANDRA F. JOIREMAN; 6. The Anglican Tradition: Building the State, Critiquing the State; 7. FOR THE SAKE OF CONSCIENCE: SOME EVANGELICAL VIEWS OF THE STATE; TIMOTHY SAMUEL SHAH; 8. Pentecostalism: Holy Spirit Empowerment and Politics; STEVE SWINDLE; 9. Concluding Reflections; . INDEX