Bonds of Imperfection: Christian Politics Past and Present  -     By: Oliver O'Donovan, Joan Lockwood O'Donovan
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Bonds of Imperfection: Christian Politics Past and Present

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2003 / Paperback

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Product Description

Drawing on the Bible and the Western history of ideas, Oliver and Joan Lockwood O'Donovan explore key Christian voices on "the political" - political action, political institutions, and political society. Covered here are Bonaventure, Thomas, Ockham, Wycliff, Erasmus, Luther, Grotius, Barth, Ramsey, and key modern papal encyclicals.

The authors' discussion takes them across a wide range of political concerns, from economics and personal freedom to liberal democracy and the nature of statehood. Ultimately, these insightful essays point to political judgment as the strength of the past theological tradition and its eclipse as the weakness of present political thought.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 344
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2003
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 080284975X
ISBN-13: 9780802849755
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

Two of today's leading experts on the Christian political tradition plumb significant moments in premodern Christian political thought, using them in original and adventurous ways to clarify, criticize, and redirect contemporary political perspectives and discussions.Drawing on the Bible and the Western history of ideas, Oliver and Joan Lockwood O'Donovan explore key Christian voices on "the political" - political action, political institutions, and political society. Covered here are Bonaventure, Thomas, Ockham, Wycliff, Erasmus, Luther, Grotius, Barth, Ramsey, and key modern papal encyclicals. The authors' discussion takes them across a wide range of political concerns, from economics and personal freedom to liberal democracy and the nature of statehood. Ultimately, these insightful essays point to political judgment as the strength of the past theological tradition and its eclipse as the weakness of present political thought.

Editorial Reviews

Choice
"[These] essays not only continue the O'Donovans' effort to reintroduce traditional Christian political theology to a contemporary audience, but also assertively confront the present misconceptions of political theory and offer possibilities for change. An excellent complement to their previous compilation of primary texts, this volume should be a welcome addition to all collections. Recommended."
 
Scottish Journal of Theology
"Full of insights and arguments, the pursuit of which, whether or not one finds them individually compelling, cannot help but contribute to the enhancement of contemporary Christian political ethics as it struggles to make its way after modernity. For this we remain in the O'Donovans' debt."
 
Robert Song
"It cannot often happen that a tradition of thought so widely forgotten is so convincingly retrieved for contemporary deliberation. Yet this is what the O'Donovans have triumphantly done in their recovery of premodern Christian political thought. These are robust, unapologetic essays that confront the platitudes of current political discourse — both secular and Christian — with a depth of theological vision that is destined to have a lasting impact. Nobody who claims a serious interest in political theology will be able to ignore this book."
 
James V. Schall, S.J.
"Bonds of Imperfection is an incisive, yes, magisterial work that represents the history and understanding of political philosophy as if Christianity really existed. It is likewise a sharp critique of modern liberal attempts, including Catholic versions, to account for political things. It is fully aware of the potentially destructive nature of 'human rights,' and it gives a concise history of how we arrived at them. In short, this book is nothing less than a reintroduction of the great Pauline and Augustinian theses about the real nature of political life, of 'political judgment,' as the O'Donovans call it. It is a book that understands that political things cannot be understood without theological things, and, perhaps, vice versa."
 
John Witte Jr.
"These elegant and erudite essays provide a kaleidoscopic tour of many of the fundamental questions of law, politics, and civil society that have long occupied the O'Donovans. This volume provides a judicious sampling and synthesis of some of their best specialty scholarship in intellectual history, biblical exegesis, theological ethics, and political theory. It also constitutes a welcome scholarly companion to and expansion of their landmark Eerdmans text From Irenaeus to Grotius: A Sourcebook in Christian Political Thought. "
 
Jean Bethke Elshtain
"Oliver and Joan O'Donovan are leaders in the current revival of political theology. This exemplary collection of essays displays all the virtues of their previous work — felicity of expression, capacious use of the resources of the Christian tradition, and an unsentimental, incisive understanding of political power. All students of politics and theology will find this volume indispensable."
 
Studies in Christian Ethics
"The O'Donovans . . . mine the political tradition of Christianity in a deeper and more sustained manner than anyone else writing today. . . We are greatly in their debt."

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