Author: Kenneth R. Himes
Publisher: Orbis Books
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This compelling and comprehensive book argues that politics and religion are matters too important to be left to politicians and religious leaders.
Beyond electoral campaigns and government structures, the subject of church-state relations is about how we ought to live together, how we should organize and govern our common life. As the author notes, politics—and the political choices we make—must be “guided by considerations of national and global justice and peace and, for Christians, by the teachings of Jesus,” as interpreted by tradition.
Himes examines church-state relations from the teachings of the Old and New Testaments through the patristic and medieval eras and the age of reform to the age of revolution, and throughout the twentieth century into the third millennium. He takes on questions of the role of the church in politics, responsible voting, concerns of globalization, and issues of human rights and war and peace.
With discussion questions and suggestions for further reading, Christianity and the Political Order is a timely and compelling review of the church-state relations past and present in a classroom-friendly text.
Kenneth R. Himes, OSF, is associate professor of Christian ethics at Boston College and a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. He is the author of many publications and the editor of Modern Catholic Social Teaching: Commentaries and Interpretations (Georgetown, 2005).