- List of Contributors
- The Self and the Good Life
- Nationalism and Patriotism
- The Making of the Modern Metropolis
- The Other
- Freedom and Human Emancipation
- Work and Labour
- Suffering In Theology and Modern European Thought
- Nihilism and Theology: Who Stands at the Door?
- War and Peace
- Radical Philosophy and Political Theology
- Beauty and Sublimity
- Time and History
- The Metaphysics of Modernity
- The Bible
- Divine Providence
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines a number of counter-intuitive suggestions which contest the idea that modernity represents a revolution against top-down, hierarchal schemas of sovereignty previously legitimized by Christianity. The first section reviews the pre- and early modern developments from which modern notions of political sovereignty emerge. The second examines the theological and philosophical development of a view of sovereignty as indivisible in dialogue with the work of Hobbes, Rousseau, and Hegel and their modern reception. It maps the counter-movement in modern theology that critiques indivisible notions of sovereignty by drawing on a Trinitarian doctrine of God and Augustinian and Pauline eschatology. The last section sketches a counter-tradition of thinking about sovereignty as neither indivisible nor in need of dissolution but as inherently distributed through various powers. This countertradition is reflected in the work of Althusius, Otto von Gierke, the English Pluralists, notions of sphere sovereignty, and Catholic Social Teaching, and involves the recovery of an Aristotelian conception of humans as political animals.
Luke Bretherton is Associate Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School and Senior Fellow at other Kenan Institute for ethics. He is author of Hospitality and Holiness: Christian Witness Amid Moral Diversity (2006) and Christianity and Contemporary Politics: The Conditions and Possibilities of Faithful Witness (2010). His most recent work examines the relationship between faith, democractic citizenship, and the politics of the common good through a case study of broad‐based community organizing and will be published in a forthcoming book as part of the Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion, and Politics series.
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