Political Theology Today A Forum for inter-disciplinary and inter-religious dialogue among clergy, scholars, students, and activists

All posts tagged Augustine

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Do Hipsters Make Good Disciples? Political Theology in the Coffee-House (Benjamin Wood)

…Instead of treating contemporary consumerism as a wholly negative phenomenon, Augustine suggests we look at the issue differently. The behaviour of the shopper or spiritual tourist is the way it is because of the deep structure of the human condition. The longing for fulfilment is at root an existential need: a secularized version of the call at the heart of Augustine’s Confessions: ‘You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.’

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Lucas Cranach woodcut of John 13:14-17

All Together Now—The Politics of Maundy Thursday

Christ’s actions on Maundy Thursday present a challenge to Enlightenment views of property. Through the Eucharistic vision of Christianity, we become more like Christ, and we do so together enveloped in an all-encompassing commandment of love: we grow together, not only in that we all simultaneously grow, but the barriers between us dissolve and our original love is mended.

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Piracy, Politics, and Proximate Justice

In likening kingdoms lacking justice to criminal syndicates, Augustine invokes the story of a confrontation between Alexander the Great and a pirate. Indeed, Augustine judges “that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, ‘What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor’” (De civ. Dei 4.4.1).

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Producing Humans

With James Bond tied to a chair, Raoul Silva, the villain in Skyfall, tells a story about rats. Silva’s mother owned an island. Some merchants happened upon the island and released rats from the ship. Feeding off the succulent coconuts, the rats spread and overwhelmed the island. The mother devised […]

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My Thomist Epiphany at a Same-Sex Wedding

Maybe it’s strange to think about political theology at a wedding ceremony. But political theology was on my mind a few years ago, when I attended the wedding of a same-sex couple in my extended family. The recent victories for marriage equality in Maine, Maryland, and Washington have me thinking about political theology again. I had a Thomist epiphany at that wedding years ago, and as the levees blocking marriage equality seem ready to break, I’d like to share that experience…

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Confronting the Current Crisis of Liberal Democracy: Toward a Genealogical Reading of the “Force of God” Behind Every Political Theology

I have been asked by Political Theology to share the content and context for my forthcoming book tentatively title Force of God:  Religion, Political Thought, and the Crisis of Liberal Democracy. This new work, for which the manuscript is almost finished, draws on the technical argument in my most recent […]

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