The Ways of Judgment
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Expected to ship on or about 08/18/18.
Stock No: WW863461
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2008 / Paperback

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The Ways of Judgment

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2008 / Paperback

Expected to ship on or about 08/18/18.
Stock No: WW863461

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Product Description

"No one should accuse O'Donovan of tackling easy issues. In rich dialogue with both political thinkers and the Christian tradition, he addresses many of the traditional topics of a course in political theory: justice, equality, authority, legitimacy, and so on. At every stage, he offers challenging conclusions,"---Christian Century. 356 pages, softcover. Eerdmans.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0802863469
ISBN-13: 9780802863461

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Publisher's Description

The trial, conviction, and death of an innocent man 2,000 years ago have particular resonance today. Atrocities from around the world shake us nearly every day, and we all experience trials in our own lives too. In this book the former Archbishop of Canterbury looks in depth at the trial of Jesus, using it to teach readers how to face the challenges of life in today's trying times.

Bringing the biblical accounts of Jesus' trial vividly to life, Rowan Williams highlights what can be learned about Jesus from each of the four Gospel portraits. Mark shows a mysterious figure revealed as the Son of God. Matthew describes the Wisdom of God tried by foolish men. Luke presents a divine stranger. John speaks of the paradox of divinity submitting to judgement. These illuminating discussions are followed by a reflection on Christian martyrdom and a meditation on tyranny, freedom, and truth. A set of discussion questions and a thought-provoking prayer after each chapter make Christ on Trial an ideal book for study groups.

Throughout the book Williams draws not only from the Bible but also from fiction, drama, and current events, pointing up ways in which society today continues to put Christ on trial. Even more, he argues that all Christians stand with Jesus before a watching world. Though we may not be directly confronted with death, we are nevertheless called daily to respond to the falsehood of such lures as power, influence, and prestige.

Several words aptly describe this book by Rowan Williams: Profound. Incisive. Literary. Contemporary. Relevant. Prophetic. Christ on Trial will move and change those who read it.

Author Bio

Oliver O'Donovan is a fellow of the British Academy andprofessor emeritus of Christian ethics and practical theologyat the University of Edinburgh. His other books includeThe Desire of the Nations, The Ways of Judgment,and Resurrection and Moral Order.


“In this sequel to his Desire of the Nations, Oliver O’Donovan displays a wisdom we have come to expect from him. He throws light on political conceptions from the final vantage point of Christian convictions resident in the creeds. A powerful, carefully considered work that unforgettably reconceives how we may live in late-modern Western society.” -Gene Outka, Yale University

“This book merits comparison with Reinhold Niebuhr’s Nature and Destiny of Man, and I expect it to be a benchmark for political theology for many years to come.” -Jean Porter, University of Notre Dame

“Oliver O’Donovan presents us here with a thorough and reflective book on the essence of politics and its institutions. This is not merely another political science book, however, but an intellectual history of the very theological and philosophical ideas out of which our modern political rhetoric grew, including that system that sought to understand itself without revelation. Chesterton once remarked that the very purpose of the mind is ultimately “to judge”; in many ways, O’Donovan rightly says, politics is a continual act of judgment, an effort to distinguish what is right from what is wrong. O’Donovan carefully shows us what this means in the realm of politics and what are its transcendent implications.” -James V. Schall, S.J.

Publisher Description

In this probing book Oliver O’Donovan extends the exploration into the correspondence between theology and politics that he began in The Desire of the Nations. While that earlier work took as its starting point the biblical proclamation of God’s authority, The Ways of Judgment approaches political theology from the political side. Responsive to developments such as the uncertain role of the United Nations after the Cold War and the expansion of the European Union, O’Donovan also draws on the extensive tradition of Christian political thought and a range of contemporary theologians.

Rather than supposing, as does some political theology, that the right political orientations are well understood and that theological beliefs should be renegotiated to fit them, O’Donovan considers contemporary social and political realities to be impenetrably obscure and elusive. Finding the gospel proclamation luminous by contrast, O’Donovan sheds light from the Christian faith upon the intricate challenge of seeking the good in late-modern Western society.

Pursuing his analysis in three movements, O’Donovan first considers the paradigmatic political act, the act of judgment, and then takes up the question of forming political institutions through representation. Finally, he tackles the opposition between political institutions and the church, provocatively investigating how Christians can be the community instructed by Jesus to "judge not."

Editorial Reviews

Anglican Theological Review
"If you are searching for a piece of writing by Rowan Williams that is accessible to a wide audience, look no farther. In Christ on Trial, Williams pays his reader the great compliment of presenting a rigorous and penetrating theological argument that will challenge the thinking of laypeople and professional theologians alike."

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