The Desire of the Nations: Rediscovering the Roots of Political Theology

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 29, 1999 - Political Science - 304 pages
Political theology as we know it today reacts against the attempt to insulate theology from political theory which has generally characterised the modern era. But its own intellectual parentage in the idealist historicism of the nineteenth century has left it still entrammelled in the suspicions and inhibitions from which it has wanted to break free. Oliver O'Donovan contends that to pass beyond suspicion and totalised criticism of politics and to achieve a positive reconstruction of political thought, theology must reach back behind the modern tradition, achieving a fuller, less selective reading of the Scriptures and learning from an older politico-theological discourse which flourished in the patristic, medieval and Reformation periods. Central to that discourse was a series of questions about authority, generated by Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom of God. This book, now published in paperback, makes an important contribution to contemporary political theology and Christian ethics.
 

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Contents

Beyond suspicion
6
Political concepts
12
Israel and the reading of the Scriptures
21
The revelation of Gods kingship
30
King over the whole earth
66
The individual
73
Dual authority and the fulfilling of the time
82
The triumph of the Kingdom
120
The church
158
Moments of recapitulation
174
The obedience of rulers
193
The redemption of society
243
Liberal society
250
Modernity and menace
271
Epilogue
285
Index of scriptural references
295

The moments of the representative act
133
The subjection of the nations
146

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