By Charles T. Mathewes
What has Washington to do with Jerusalem? within the raging debates concerning the courting among faith and politics, not anyone has explored the spiritual advantages and demanding situations of public engagement for Christian believers - earlier. This e-book defends and information Christian believers' engagement in modern pluralistic public lifestyles no longer from the point of view of a few impartial 'public', yet from the actual viewpoint of Christian religion, arguing that such engagement enriches either public existence and Christian electorate' religion themselves. As such it bargains now not a 'public theology', yet a 'theology of public life', analysing the promise and perils of Christian public engagement, discussing the character of civic dedication and prophetic critique, and the relation of a loving religion to a liberal politics of justice. Theologically wealthy, philosophically rigorous, politically, traditionally and sociologically educated, this booklet advances modern dialogue of 'religion and public lifestyles' in primary methods.
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Extra resources for A theology of public life
8 Fear of such a ‘‘bad otherworldliness’’ cannot take center stage in any elaboration of Christian life during the world. After all, in one sense this proposal is otherworldly; for only if we accept that our motives to love are not elicited or merited by what we call the world, and hence need not seek final validation therein, can we love the world as much as we want to. This is because our love is, as are our lives, gratuitous. Our love for the world is otherworldly in its origins, but it is equally a love for the world, as its 7.
Such a project – built on cultivating a sense of our own incompleteness, dissatisfactions, and even failures – may seem dissatisfying. But that dissatisfaction is part of what it aims to treat. We impatiently, apocalyptically expect solutions for our problems. But such ‘‘solutions’’ are generally snake oil. 21 To endure our life in this way is to be attentive and wakeful, patient and long-suffering, to refuse to let the world have the last word on what it means, and yet to refuse also to presume to know what that last word will be.
34 Augustine’s refusal to confabulate a nature–supernature distinction has many benefits for his theology. Most generally, it means that the conceptual structure Augustine employs implicitly underscores the continuity between our present ‘‘worldly’’ condition and the greater life yet to come. More specifically in political terms, it reflects an ultimate overcoming of all boundaries, and a deep conceptual resistance to positing ultimate limits – based finally on conceptual resistance to any concept of an ultimate ‘‘outside’’ or exteriority to the divine providential plan.
A theology of public life by Charles T. Mathewes