It is not simply for rhetorical flourish that politicians so regularly invoke God's blessings on the country. It is because the relatively new form of power we call the nation-state arose out of a Western political imagination steeped in Christianity. In this brief guide to the history of Christianity and politics, Pecknold shows how early Christianity reshaped the Western political imagination with its new theological claims about eschatological time, participation, and communion with God and neighbor. The ancient view of the Church as the "mystical body of Christ" is singled out in particular as the author traces shifts in its use and meaning throughout the early, medieval, and modern periods-shifts in how we understand the nature of the person, community and the moral conscience that would give birth to a new relationship between Christianity and politics. While we have many accounts of this narrative from either political or ecclesiastical history, we have few that avoid the artificial separation of the two. This book fills that gap and presents a readable, concise, and thought-provoking introduction to what is at stake in the contentious relationship between Christianity and politics. Review "Political theology--thinking theologically about politics and understanding all political thought as first-and-last theological--is a lively field that until now has lacked a lucid and elegantly brief introduction. Pecknold's book fills that gap, and more: it makes a real theoretical contribution of its own, most notably in its treatment of the migration of the treatment of conscience from church to state, and the effects of that migration on the understanding of freedom, political and otherwise." --Paul J. Griffiths, Warren Chair of Catholic Theology, Duke Divinity School "Modern life and thought has a centripetal force, separating into discrete units what should be held together: politics, economics, theology, metaphysics, liturgy, and history. This division of labor creates specialists who can see the units but lack focus for a larger vision . . . In this substantive, readable, brief history of the relation between theology and politics, Pecknold focuses our vision by bringing together his own considerable acumen for both theology and politics. This comprehensive work shows connections that only someone of his breadth of knowledge could see. The result is a first-rate work that sets the bar for political theology." --D. Stephen Long, Professor of Systematic Theology, Marquette University "If it is true that 'youth is wasted on the young,' then to restrict this so-called primer only to beginning learners or students would be wasteful in the extreme. This is a first-rate book, a serious and fascinating work on theology and politics that masquerades as a gateway resource. Yet it also succeeds as an outstanding introduction--readable without being simplistic, engaging key voices and eras in the long interaction between Christianity and politics. I can't wait to use this book with students, both to give them a solid grounding in key ideas and sources, as well as whetting their appetites for joining in these crucial conversations and debates. Anyone with an interest in the church and politics will benefit from this book." --Michael Budde, Professor of Political Science, DePaul University "At last I have found a textbook for my undergraduate course on Christianity and Politics! Pecknold's book is brief and crystal clear, ideally suited to supplement primary source readings in an introductory class. This book helps the student grasp the sweep of Christianity's political history in a relatively few deft strokes. The broad-brush approach does not mean the book is simplistic, however. To the contrary, Pecknold's analysis is insightful, engaging, and at times contentious. Pecknold shows how theological concepts like 'mystical body' have wandered in and out of different political arrangements. In so doing, he shows students how church history and political history are not two separate subjects but one, and a fascinating one at that." --William T. Cavanaugh, Professor of Theology, St. Thomas University --Wipf and Stock Publishers From the Back Cover ". . . a first-rate work that sets the bar for political theology." -D. Stephen Long, Marquette University "At last I have found a textbook for my undergraduate course on Christianity and Politics!" -William T. Cavanaugh, St. Thomas University ". . . a serious and fascinating work on theology and politics that masquerades as a gateway resource." -Michael Budde, DePaul University ". . . a lucid and elegantly brief introduction. . . [that] makes a real theoretical contribution of its own." -Paul Griffiths, Duke Divinity School --Back Cover
This is the revised version of Peter Laslett's acclaimed edition of Two Treatises of Government, which is widely recognised as one of the classic pieces of recent scholarship in the history of ideas, read and used by students of political theory throughout the world. This 1988 edition revises Dr Laslett's second edition (1970) and includes an updated bibliography, a guide to further reading and a fully reset and revised introduction which surveys advances in Locke scholarship since publication of the second edition. In the introduction, Dr Laslett shows that the Two Treatises were not a rationalisation of the events of 1688 but rather a call for a revolution yet to come.
First published in 2000, this translation of one of the great works of Western political thought is based on the assumption that when Plato chose the dialogue form for his writing, he intended these dialogues to sound like conversations - although conversations of a philosophical sort. In addition to a vivid, dignified and accurate rendition of Plato's text, the student and general reader will find many aids to comprehension in this volume: an introduction that assesses the cultural background to the Republic, its place within political philosophy, and its general argument; succinct notes in the body of the text; an analytical summary of the work's content; a full glossary of proper names; a chronology of important events; and a guide to further reading. The result is an accomplished and accessible edition of this seminal work, suitable for philosophers and classicists as well as historians of political thought at all levels.
This is the first volume of a detailed history of the traditions of natural law and political realism in western political thought. It elucidates the ways in which the relation between politics and morality was understood by major thinkers from classical antiquity to the Renaissance. Emphasis is given not only to the exegesis of texts, but to the intellectual and historical contexts in which those texts must be read if they are to be properly understood. The second volume continues the analysis through the twenty-first century and addresses the question of whether the modern «natural law» rhetoric of human rights can be given a respectable philosophical basis. This two-volume set is a valuable resource for scholars working in the fields of history, international relations, philosophy, and politics.
Aristotle's Politics is widely acknowledged as a classic and one of the founding texts of political theory and philosophy. Written by a leading expert in ancient philosophical thought, Aristotle and the Politics is a coherent guide that makes sense of an often difficult and disorganized work, carefully explaining its key themes. Jean Roberts introduces and assesses: Aristotle's life and the background to Politics the ideas and text of Politics the continuing importance of Aristotle's work to philosophy today. Aristotle is one of the most important figures in Western thought and Politics contains some of our earliest ideas about democracy. This is essential reading for all students of philosophy and political thought.
This volume is the first general and comprehensive treatment of the political thought of ancient Greece and Rome ever to be published in English. It covers Plato and Aristotle at length, but also a host of other major and minor thinkers, from Thucydides and the Greek dramatists to Cicero and early Christian writers. It attempts both historical and philosophical assessment of the writers discussed and quotes them generously in translation. It will take its place as a standard work essential for scholars and students of classics, history, philosophy and theology.
The Doctrines and Exercise of Authority in the Middle Ages: Essays in Memory of Robert Louis Benson
Author: Professor Robert C Figueira
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
'I study power' – so Robert Louis Benson described his work as a scholar of medieval history. This volume unites papers by a number of his students dealing with matters central to Benson's historical interests – ecclesiastical institutions and administration, emperorship and papacy, canon law, political ideology, and historiography. The justification and exercise of political power is considered in two chapters that look at how the hagiography of a late Roman military saint, Maurice, was harnessed in the 11th century to the discussion of the power exercised by both emperor and pope, and how both pious purpose and political pretext animated the Hohenstaufen emperors' suppression of heresy. Three subsequent chapters focus on the Church: a study of the legal commentaries that taught that the 'authority to bind and loose' in a specific ecclesiastical matter could be determined by the opinions of 'the elders of the province'; an argument that Innocent III's administration of the Roman church represented a model for the ordering of all Christian society; and an inquiry into the doctrinal formation of the 'territorial principle' in the exercise of jurisdiction by papal legates. The late Middle Ages provides the focus for two additional studies, namely an exploration of the issues of power and authority in the charitable institutions of Cologne in the 13th–14th centuries, and the argument that the current desire for universal standards of governmental conduct in the area of basic human rights hearkens back to natural law theory as outlined in the 15th century by Nicholas of Cusa. Two historiographical studies round out the volume: an estimation of modern research regarding the political theology of late antiquity, and a reflection on Benson's own contribution to historical scholarship. Together, these papers both epitomize and further develop Benson's distinctive approach to the study of the Middle Ages, while themselves making their own important contribution.
The Classical Athenians were the first to articulate and implement the notion that ordinary citizens of no particular affluence or education could make responsible political decisions. For this reason, reactions to Athenian democracy have long provided a prime Rorschach test for political thought. Whether praising Athens's government as the legitimizing ancestor of modern democracies or condemning it as mob rule, commentators throughout history have revealed much about their own notions of politics and society. In this book, Jennifer Roberts charts responses to Athenian democracy from Athens itself through the twentieth century, exploring a debate that touches upon historiography, ethics, political science, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, gender studies, and educational theory.
This wide-ranging history of ancient Greek political thought shows what ancient political texts might mean to citizens of the twenty-first century. A provocative and wide-ranging history of ancient Greek political thought Demonstrates what ancient Greek works of political philosophy might mean to citizens of the twenty-first century Examines an array of poetic, historical, and philosophical texts in an effort to locate Greek political thought in its cultural context Pays careful attention to the distinctively ancient connections between politics and ethics Structured around key themes such as the origins of political thought, political self-definition, revolutions in political thought, democracy and imperialism
John Grote struggled to construct an intelligible account of philosophy at a time when radical change and sectarian conflict made understanding and clarity a rarity. This book answers three questions: * How did John Grote develop and contribute to modern Cambridge and British philosophy? * What is the significance of these contributions to modern philosophy in general and British Idealism and language philosophy in particular? * How were his ideas and his idealism incorporated into the modern philosophical tradition? Grote influenced his contemporaries, such as his students Henry Sidgwick and John Venn, in both style and content; he forged a brilliantly original philosophy of knowledge, ethics, politics and language, from a synthesis of the major British and European philosophies of his day; his social and political theory provide the origins of the 'new liberal' ideas later to reach their zenith in the writings of Green, Sidgwick, and Collingwood; he founded the 'Cambridge style' associated with Moore, Russell, Broad, McTaggart and Wittgenstein; and he was also a major influence on Oakeshott.