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Christianity and Politics in the U.S. Today: A Conversation with Ross Douthat & Cornel West

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Politics, Theology and History is a major book by a prominent academic and an active politician. It ranges widely across the disciplines of theology, political theory and philosophy and poses acute questions about the basic moral foundations of liberal societies. Lord Plant focuses on the role that religious belief can and ought to play in argument about public policy in a pluralistic society. He examines the potential political implications of Christian belief and the ways in which it may be deployed in political debate.

The book discusses the place of religious belief in the formation of policy and asks what issues in modern society might be the legitimate objects of a Christian social and political concern.


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  4. This important study of the relationship between religion and politics will be of value to students, academics, politicians, church professionals, policy makers and all concerned with the moral fabric of contemporary life. This book analyses the revival of charismatic Protestant Christianity as an example of globalization. Simon Coleman shows that, along with many social movements, these religious conservatives are negotiating their own interpretations of global and postmodern processes.

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    They are constructing an evangelical arena of action and meaning within the liminal, chaotic space of the global. The book examines globalization not only as a social process, but also as an embodied practice involving forms of language and ritualized movement. Charismatic Christianity is presented through its material culture - art, architecture and consumer products - as well as its rhetoric and theology.

    The book provides an account of the incorporation of electronic media such as television, videos and the Internet into Christian worship. Issues relating to the conduct of fieldwork in contexts of globalization are raised in an account which is also a major ethnography of a Faith ministry. Disagreements about justice are not simply academic matters.


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    6. They create problems for practice and for policy-making. In a morally fragmented society in which 'nobody knows what justice is' issues such as wages policy, punishment and poverty become particularly difficult to handle. People striving to act justly are often uncertain how this might be done. Secular theories such as those of Rowls, Hayek, Habermas and modern feminist theorists, examined here, give some guidance for problems of justice that arise on the ground, but have serious limitations.

      Cambridge Studies in Ideology and Religion

      This book argues that Christian theology, although it can no longer claim to provide a comprehensive theory of justice, can provide insights into justice - 'theological fragments' - which give illumination, challenge some aspects of the conventional wisdom, and contribute to the building of just communities in which people may flourish in mutuality and hope.

      This book examines the relationship between the theologies of atonement and penal strategies. Christian theology was potent in Western society until the nineteenth century, and the so-called 'satisfaction theory' of atonement interacted and reacted with penal practice. Drawing on the work of Norbert Elias and David Garland, the author argues that atonement theology created a structure of affect which favoured retributive policies.

      He ranges freely between Old Testament texts, St Anselm, and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British social history, to show the integral connection between sin and crime, the legal and the moral. The question arises if the preaching of the cross not only desensitised us to judicial violence but even lent it sanction.

      Cambridge Studies in Ideology and Religion

      The last two chapters review theory and practice in the twentieth century, and Timothy Gorringe makes concrete proposals for both theology and criminal and societal violence. The need for global democratisation is now widely recognised, but there is considerable debate about what this means and how it can be achieved. In this important study John de Gruchy examines the historic and contemporary roles of Christianity in the development of democracy. He traces the gestation of modern democracy in medieval Christendom, and then describes the virtual breakdown of the relationship as democracy becomes the polity of modernity.

      Five twentieth-century case studies - the USA, Nicaragua, sub-Saharan Africa, Germany and South Africa - demonstrate the extent to which ecumenical Christianity has begun to reconnect with democracy and act as its contemporary midwife.