The Ways of Judgment: The Bampton Lectures, 2003

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005 - Religion - 330 pages
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."

 

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Contents

The Act of Judgment
3
Imperfectibility
13
Justice and Equality
31
Political Judgment
52
Freedom and Its Loss
67
Mercy
84
Punishment
101
POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS REPRESENTATION
125
The Powers of Government
186
International Judgment
211
LIFE BEYOND JUDGMENT COMMUNICATION
229
Judge Not
231
Communication
242
Household and City
261
The Longest Part
293
Index of Names and Titles of Anonymous Works
320

Political Authority
127
Representation
149
Legitimacy
164

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About the author (2005)

Oliver O'Donovan is Regius Professor of Moral & Pastoral Theology and Canon of Christ Church, University of Oxford. He is the author of The Problem of Self-Love in Saint Augustine (1980), Begotten or Made (1984), Peace and Certainty: A Theological Essay on Deterrence (1989) Resurrection et l'Experience Morale (1992), On the Thirty-Nine Articles: A Conversation with Tudor Christianity (1993), Common Objects of Love (2002).

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