Christianity and the Political Order

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“A must-read and indispensable guide for those concerned with the bread-and-butter issues of church-and-state relations. . . .”Peter C. Phan

“The breadth of historical development, the depth of theological and ethical analysis, and the clarity of thought and expression by Kenneth Himes make Christianity and the Political Order an excellent textbook.” Charles Curran

Beyond electoral campaigns and government structures, the relationship between the political realm and Christianity has always involved the important questions of how we ought to live together, and 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 the relationship between Christianity and politics from the teachings of the Old and New Testaments through the patristic and medieval eras, and from 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 relationship between Christian faith and the political realm both past and present in a classroom-friendly text.

Kenneth R. Himes, OFM, 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).

Book Details

Christianity and the Political Order
Conflict, Cooptation, and Cooperation
Theology in Global Perspective Series
Kenneth R. Himes, OFM
The questions the book offers after each chapter, along with its historical approach and ample footnotes, make it ideal as a textbook or for a discussion group.
... an excellent and clear introduction to this dimension of Catholic thought. For the primary audience it is a basic text book; but it is also of real value to anyone interested in how public theology in the Western tradition and in Catholicism in particular can inform present practice.
". . . a good book for college educated readers seeking a deeper knowledge of the relationship between Christians and the polictical order."
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