Political Worship: Ethics for Christian Citizens

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2004 - Religion - 402 pages
How does Christian ethics begin? This pioneering study explores the grammar of the Christian life as it is embodied and learned in worship as the formative experience of the 'fellow citizens of God's people'. The book presents the first in-depth theological investigation of the phenomenon of'political worship' by exposing the political nature of worship and the worship dimension of politics.In a careful analysis of biblical and traditional conceptions of worship, Wannenwetsch demonstrates how the genuine political character of worship neutralizes attempts to politicize or de-politicize it. In the imprinting of the experience of divine reconciliation on the Christian body, worshipchallenges the deepest antagonisms of political theory and practice: antagonisms of 'private and public', 'freedom and necessity', and 'action and contemplation'. At the same time, the 'spill over' of worship into every sphere of life instils a healthy suspicion of post-liberal conceptualizations ofrole-mobility. In the experience of 'hearing in communion', an encounter with a word that does not deceive announces the end of the rule of the hermeneutics of suspicion.Further questions discussed include the conditions of true consensus, forgiveness as a political virtue, `political rhetoric' between accountability and self-justification, how 'reversible role-taking' can avoid losing the otherness of the other, and how the rhetoric of 'responsibility' can be savedfrom hubris or depression. Particular practices or dimensions of worship (confession, preaching, praising, intercession, observance of holy days) are examined and their heuristic and formative potentials explored in relation to these topics. A special feature of the study is a strong ecumenical andinternational focus.The book brings into conversation a variety of traditions (including Lutheran, Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox) and contemporary voices. An original contribution to Christian ethics, the book addresses systematic and practical theology as well as political theory, while indicating the essentialinterpenetration of these disciplines.
 

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How does Christian ethics begin? This pioneering study explores the grammar of the Christian life as it is embodied and learned in worship as the formative experience of the 'fellow citizens of God's ... Read full review

Contents

Overcoming the Functional Approach
21
The Grammar
32
Absorptions
41
Their Traditional Correlation
58
A Worship as the Praxis of Reconciliation
89
The Surmounting of Political Antinomies
117
B Worship Identity in Postmodern Society
207
The Worshipping Congregation as
235
Io Consensus and Forgiveness
298
Homiletics as Political Propaedeutics
317
B Life Out of Abundance
326
Sabbath
345
Bibliography
361
Index of Subjects
379
Index of Names
395
Copyright

A Hearing in CommunityThe Political Power
279

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About the author (2004)


Bernd Wannenwetsch is University Lecturer in Ethics in the Theology Faculty, University of Oxford.

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