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Christianity and Contemporary Politics: The Conditions and Possibilites of Faithful Witness Paperback – 12 Jan 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (12 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405199695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405199698
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.7 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 383,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Winner of the 2013 Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing!

A deeply hospitable book, which is rooted in evangelical orthodoxy, but is clearly open to public dialogues and unafraid to speak within them in its own accent [Bretherton s] account of listening as a Christian political practice is outstanding and inspiring. This is a very fine book, which deserves the attention and engagement of the practical theological community.  (International Journal of Practical Theology, 19 July 2012)

My hope is that the ideas contained here will not remain in the academy but will provide  momentum for a challenging Christian encounter with the issues and injustices of our political and social context.   (Modern Believing, 1 April 2012)

"[Bretherton] establishes himself in this book as a leading figure in political theology by giving a profound synthetic account of political theory and theology." (Church Times, 2010)

"I′ll be giving Christianity and Contemporary Politics to my graduate students and others seeking to become authors and academics. It is a model of the kind of book a scholar should be looking to write." (Christian Century, June 2011)

"This is a wonderful book, perhaps the best book on contemporary Christianity and politics in liberal nation–states I have read. It is both based in concrete practices and theoretically aware. Most of all, its author exhibits the virtues necessary to undertake such a task: he is generous, faithful, and engaged with real communities of Christians and others. I will be using this book with students, and recommending it to colleagues." (Studies in Christian Ethics, June 2011)

"I strongly recommend this book as one of the most fascinating accounts of the relationship between politics and religion in contemporary society. The author has mastered very skillfully several bodies of literature from different disciplines and presented a new synthesis of them. He points a way forward that takes into account traditional ways of understanding religious faith and practice but practiced in the very new and emergent conditions of the twenty–first century." (Politics, Religion & Ideology, December 2011)

"This book is important, though not always an easy read. However, the effort will reward those who persevere with new insights about the mission of the church and the witness of the individual Christian. It should prove particularly refreshing to those who train ministers and church–related community workers, as well as to all who struggle with political and community issues within the church in its Big Society." (Reform, 1 May 2011)

"Over the past decade political theology has become one of the most energetic (and polemical) conversations in the field of theology. Bretherton makes a signal contribution to these debates as a voice characterized by critical charity. While the field has tended to line up in camps (e.g., Niebuhrians vs. Hauenvasians), Bretherton is eager to affirm what′s right in both without shrinking from criticizing either. The great virtue of this book is that it moves the conversation from the abstract environs of national politics and ′church–state′ questions to the nitty–gritty environs of the municipal pursuit of the common good (or rather, as Bretherton emphasizes, goods in common). Changing the scope and scale of the question, the book provides a fresh analysis through a series of case studies that are attentive to place – considering, for example, the community organizing of Saul Alinsky (the space of Obama′s apprenticeship) as a case of the church concretely impacting the shared space of common goods. Neither beset by worries about Constantinianism, nor motivated by pretensions to Christendom, this book deserves wide attention." (CHOICE, December 2010)

"I cannot commend it highly enough." (Regent′s Reviews, 1 October 2010)

"Bretherton is one of the most helpful voices engaging culture in a way that results in robust witness and faithful Gospel proclamation. And so this book is enthusiastically recommended to all concerned with relevant Christian witness in ever changing Western political situations." (European Journal of Theology, 2010)


I confess I did not think this book could be written. But it can be done because Bretherton has done it. He has written this marvelous book that engages the complex theoretical issues necessary to develop a constructive theological politics without losing sight of concrete social challenges associated with community organizing, immigration, and consumerism. Bretherton has set a new standard in Christian political reflection.
Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School

"Sophisticated, erudite, deeply insightful, and written with a passion born out of political engagement. Bretherton pushes the field of political theology into fresh pastures ... This book will serve many, not just political theorists and theologians."
Gaving D′Costa, University of Bristol

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13 September 2013
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11 December 2012
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
5.0 out of 5 starsA Refreshing new voice in Christian Theological Ethics
29 January 2011 - Published on
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3.0 out of 5 starsSupposed to be an important book on the subject, but not an enjoyable read.
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Johnny Walker
5.0 out of 5 starsA Wonderful Synthesis of Leading Theo-Political Thought
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4 people found this helpful.
Rosie S Goolsby
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