Political Theology Today A forum for interdisciplinary and interreligious dialogue

All posts by Brad Littlejohn

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Political Theology Party at AAR

For the second year in a row, Political Theology Today and Political Theology will be throwing a party at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting to celebrate the work of our editors and contributors in the past year, and bring together those working in the field for good conversation. We will also […]

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POL 16-5_OFC

Announcing Political Theology 16.5

The September 2015 issue of our journal, Political Theology, is now online. This issue includes three fine articles spanning historical and contemporary issues in political theology, from Augustine’s City of God to natural law to a theological analysis of the concept of vulnerability. This issue’s book reviews cover a range of topics on theoretical and practical […]

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Private Property

Aquinas and Legal Realism: The Roots of Private Property

Earlier this week, two prominent Catholic political bloggers, Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig and Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry (better known as Pegobry, or just PEG), engaged in a short but sharp exchange on the subject of property rights (see here, here, here, and here). There is not space here for a full discussion (see a longer version of this post here if you are interested in more), but I will seek to add some insight from Thomas Aquinas, who has perhaps done more than anyone to inform the Catholic Church’s reflection on these issues.

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coexist

The Politics of Difference and Unity—Philippians 2:1-13 (Brad Littlejohn)

The stark repetition of the admonition to being of one mind in the first and last phrases is particularly arresting, and particularly challenging for us today. After all, for contemporary liberalism, being of one mind is no virtue, and the same could be said for most contemporary Christians. We no longer think of pluralism as simply a pragmatic political strategy for negotiating irresolvable difference, but as a good in itself. It is difference, we say, that makes us strong, tolerance and indeed embrace of otherness.

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deposition

Good Friday and the Politics of Discipleship—John 19:31-42 (Brad Littlejohn)

In most reflections about Good Friday and the events surrounding the Passion, the focus is squarely on Jesus, and to be sure, one can hardly deny that this is where it should be. However, it is interesting to note the extent to which the Gospel authors are quite interested in what these events reveal about the disciples that had followed Jesus up to this climactic point in his ministry—not just the Twelve, of course, but all those who had heard his word and believed in him.

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The “Ordinance of God” and the Right to Rebel

Romans 13:1-7 has stood as one of the most important texts throughout the history of Christian political thought, but like so many biblical texts, has proven capable of being put to the service of several different—even contradictory—ends. The 16th century in particular stimulated several different readings of the passage, readings which have continued to remain popular down to the present day.

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macarthur landing

Scientism and the Failure to Prevent Tragedy

. . . In other words, disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan confront us with the sobering reality that the deepest, deadliest and most intransigent problems we face today are social problems, not technical problems. We continue to deceive ourselves with the hope that if we can but increase our knowledge of the world, our technical know-how at problem-solving the riddles that nature poses for us, we can defeat death and disease.

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Protestantism, Aristotle, and the Godly Commonwealth

. . . Often much more important than what people argue is how people argue. . . . Many whom we may have hastily taken as kindred spirits, because they happen to have reached some conclusion we moderns take for granted, turn out on closer inspection to have been motivated by wholly different concerns, so that the convergence is largely illusory. Others, however, whom we might be apt to dismiss as barbaric for their unenlightened ideas, turn out to have been strikingly liberal-minded.

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