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Religion and Political Thought: Key Readings - Past and Present Paperback – 30 Jun 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum; Annotated edition edition (30 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826480063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826480064
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,259,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'This timely anthology is more than just a rounding up of the usual suspects. Although the indispensable classic texts in political theology are here, they are joined by both classic "secular" political voices and some provocative new contemporary voices who work on the edge of politics and religion. The editors' introductions and the texts themselves blur the lines between the temporal and the spiritual in helpful ways. If the world is not simply advancing toward greater secularization, it may be because the "secular" itself is a kind of "religion." This book is a tremendous resource for exploring such a world.' William T. Cavanaugh, Associate Professor of Theology, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, USA

"This is a stimulating collection, with good bibliographical pointers, that opens up major questions for readers at every level" Theological Book Review Vol. 19 No. 1 2007--Sanford Lakoff

Synopsis

This book provides an essential resource for studies in religion and politics. It is divided into three parts, beginning with an introduction outlining the contemporary relevance of reviewing the relationship between the two subject areas; a brief history of the interactions between religion and politics that have pertained both in East and the West, and the key concepts that relate these two fields. The second section comprises a selection of classic readings. Beginning with Aristotle, the readings explore the metaphor of the body and its political deployment in the mediaeval period, the concern with sovereignty in early modernity, religion and democracy in Enlightenment Europe, religion and democracy in America, nineteenth-century socialism, and twentieth-century concerns with totalitarianism and democracy. The third section comprises an introductory essay followed by eight full-length essays by contemporary thinkers, exploring key ideas that are currently at the forefront of debates concerning religion and political life.

Four of these essays move beyond the 'Christian' framing behind the classical texts, to examine how key concepts from this historical legacy have impacted on Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. One other essay explores issues with respect to the politics of gender and liberation theology. The remaining three treat important contemporary issues as represented by three important social/cultural theorists - the state of emergency and the homo sacer, the radical nature of agape and the relationship between democracy and secularism.

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