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.
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).
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; Bibliography; Index.