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by Kristen Deede Johnson

Download Theology, Political Theory, and Pluralism: Beyond Tolerance and Difference (Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine) ePub
  • ISBN 0521870038
  • ISBN13 978-0521870030
  • Language English
  • Author Kristen Deede Johnson
  • Publisher Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (February 5, 2007)
  • Pages 292
  • Formats txt rtf docx mbr
  • Category Different
  • Subcategory Humanities
  • Size ePub 1165 kb
  • Size Fb2 1479 kb
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 392

How can we live together in the midst of our differences? This is one of the most pressing questions of our time. Tolerance has been the bedrock of political liberalism, while proponents of agonistic political thought and radical democracy have sought an answer that allows a deeper celebration of difference. Kristen Deede Johnson describes the move from tolerance to difference, and the accompanying move from epistemology to ontology, within political theory. Building on this 'ontological turn', in search of a theological answer to the question, she puts Augustine into conversation with recent political theorists and theologians. This theological option enables the Church to envision a way to engage with contemporary political society without losing its own embodied story and practices. It contributes to our broader political imagination by offering a picture of rich engagement between the many different particularities that constitute a pluralist society.

Kristen Deede Johnson's Theology, Political Theory and Pluralism is a refreshing, and creative response to current debates concerning . Series: Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine (Book 15).

Kristen Deede Johnson's Theology, Political Theory and Pluralism is a refreshing, and creative response to current debates concerning the role of religion within the public square. Johnson deserves praise for providing a rationale for Christians to participate in public discourse rooted in a stance of service.

Theology, Political Theory, and Pluralism: Beyond Tolerance and Difference (Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine). Kristen Deede Johnson. Download (pdf, . 7 Mb) Donate Read. Epub FB2 mobi txt RTF. Converted file can differ from the original. If possible, download the file in its original format.

Kristen Deede Johnson describes the move from tolerance to difference, and the accompanying move from . Galston, William . iberal Pluralism: The Implications of Value Pluralism for Political Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Kristen Deede Johnson describes the move from tolerance to difference, and the accompanying move from epistemology to ontology, within political theory. This theological option enables the Church to envision a way to engage with contemporary political society without losing its own embodied story and practices.

Theology, Political T. .by Kristen Deede Johnson . Kristen Deede Johnson describes the move from tolerance to How can we live together in the midst of our differences? This is one of the most pressing questions of our time. Tolerance has been the bedrock of political liberalism, while proponents of agonistic political thought and radical democracy have sought an answer that allows a deeper celebration of difference. The book is attempting to speak theologically into political theory, and as the title indicates, move around the inevitable dead ends that the tolerance of political liberalism leads us to.

For gaining its effectivity, cultivating religious tolerance culture become pivotel to be intensively implemented in our country. KEYWORDS: Religious tolerance, peace culture, security, development, informal (family) education. This theological option enables the Church to envision a way to engage with contemporary political society without losing its own embodied story and practices

by Cambridge University Press (CUP). in Politics and Religion.

by Cambridge University Press (CUP). Politics and Religion, Volume 1, pp 484-486; doi:10. Keywords: pluralism, theology, Cambridge University, political theory, Kristen Deede, Deede Johnson, University Press, York.

Kristen Deede Johnson. How can we live together in the midst of our differences? This is one of the most pressing questions of our time. Kristen Deede Johnson describes the move from tolerance to difference, and the accompanying move from epistemology to ontology, within political theory.

by KRISTEN DEEDE JOHNSON. Cambridge studies in christian doctrine; 15. Published by CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS in CAMBRIDGE. Written in Undetermined. ID Numbers.

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Knights from Bernin
Into the dizzying array of political theories and visions, Kristen Deede Johnson brings clarity of description and seeks to propose "an ethos of rich, hospitable and loving interaction" mediating the bifurcation between liberal tolerance and agonistic difference. Does she succeed? Before offering my own perspective, allow me to take you on a fast tour through the book.

To begin, in chapter two Johnson presents a broad summary of liberalism viewed through the work of John Rawls. The early Rawls formulated liberalism as a comprehensive doctrine resting on the principles of equal liberty and opportunity for every individual. Not surprisingly, this work prompted a flood of response from "communitarians" such as Alistair McIntyre who objected to privileging individual rights over the communal good. Partly in response to these critiques, Rawls later articulated a more thoroughly political liberalism, avoiding claims to any ontological foundation, a political theory that could seek consensus among communities shaped by comprehensive worldviews. According to Rawls, this consensus is made possible through the use of public reason and the duty of civility.

The major problem with Rawls' theory, Johnson points out, is that this rational consensus assumes some "slippage" in the comprehensive worldviews of particular communities. It also assumes a distinction between public and private, and actually excludes those groups that refuse to acknowledge this separation, such as "Catholics, Protestants, hedonists, perfectionists, communists, socialists, feminists, and communitarians" (56-57). Real conversation about the good is impossible, because these groups are refused a place at the political table unless they are willing to seek consensus on a neutral playing field.

Given the problems with political liberalism, the backlash from post-Nietzschean political theory is to be expected. Johnson highlights scholars such as Chantall Mouffe who point out that differences are inevitable, that rational political consensus is not a possibility. William Connolly shares this perspective, but has provided more constructive solutions in light of inevitable political differences. He posits respecting differences through "critical responsiveness" and "agonistic respect," which produces in a pluralism from the roots (rhizomatic), rather than a pluralism of different branches from a common stem (arboreal). Connolly is honest about his ontological presuppositions, namely, the abundance of being and the lack of fundamentals, except of course difference itself. But Johnson doubts whether Connolly provides an enduring solution, since his proposal does not reconcile unity and difference, abandoning the creative re-imagination of harmony in light of the need to get along in the public square. Is this all our political imagination can muster?

Not if we go back to Augustine, which is exactly what Johnson does in chapter 4. Augustine begins with a biblical vision of the world's relational order, with disharmony and disorder resulting from the Fall. Disorder, therefore, does not reflect the way things are meant to be or should be, and reconciliation through Jesus provides a way to experience harmony and participation in the heavenly city. In the earthly city, power and pride reign over justice and humility. In fact, real justice is only possible through participation in the heavenly city, which has already been inaugurated through the work of Jesus but will not be complete until Jesus returns. Until then, we should neither expect to experience utopia in the earthly city nor should we abandon the earthly city.

Based on this Augustinian political imagination, how should Christians who are participants in the heavenly city participate in the earthly city? Johnson disagrees with how John Milbank answers that question: the heavenly city (the church) should increase its influence and slowly take over the role of the political sphere. Johnson agrees with Milbank that the church and state should not be separate, but she thinks that Milbank is not Augustinian enough in recognizing Jesus' lordship over everything, and thus the importance for the church to simply be the church (agreeing with Hauerwas). She prefers the perspective of Karl Barth, who held a Christological connection between the political and the ecclesial, with Christ as Lord over both and the church at the center of the divine drama. Indeed, Johnson maintains that the political and ecclesial are both public sphere, and thus the church and the political realm are overlapping publics. Christians should be involved in the political realm because the limited goods of the earthly city are still worthy of pursuit, but we should recognize that our primary citizenship is the heavenly city. Christians should not expect to transform the political sphere, because this is impossible outside of reconciliation with Jesus.

The most important way for Christians to be involved, therefore, is through "rich, deep conversation," and through a "hospitable ethos of interaction," which includes embodied practices as much as honest conversations. Christians should not feel like they have to leave their deepest commitments at home and at church, but should interact freely and courageously in the public sphere. This needs to be done with humility, of course, because we interact as disciples "on the way," not as those who have arrived at our final destination. The best political system is that which "accommodates conversation of communal religious practice," and not political liberalism, which requires interaction on the basis of "public rationality" rather than on the basis of our deepest beliefs.

Overall, Theology, Political Theory, and Pluralism is a stunning summary of current political thought, accessible to readers at all levels. Johnson provides insightful critiques of major political thinkers and theories, leaving no doubt that Christian theology has a unique and important voice within this unsatisfying intellectual and political climate. Johnson crafts an alterative political vision that is both bold and humble, striving for the unified diversity that lies at the heart of the Christian political imagination.

I still have several questions after reading this book, however, some of which may point to weaknesses in Johnson's method and argument. For one, even though Johnson interacts with a wide range of political theory, she did not widen her interaction to include other Christian political theorists, such as Abraham Kuyper and more recently James Skillen in the Dutch Reformed tradition. Second, at one point Johnson conflates the kingdom of God with the church, which seems problematic given her emphasis on Christ's lordship over the whole universe. If anything, being more careful in distinguishing the kingdom and the church would have enabled Johnson to think more practically about specific Christian involvement in the political sphere. Third, based on the enduring connotation of `conversation' with verbal acts, it would have been better for Johnson to advocate a "theology of public interaction" rather than "a theology of public conversation," since she wants to emphasize concrete practices and embodied interaction. Fourth, at several points Johnson mentions that this public interaction requires humility and openness, even to the point of being willing to convert to another position. But do Christians (or anyone else for that matter) need to remain open to conversion in order to engage in authentic conversation? Finally, I found myself continually longing for practical examples of Johnson's rich proposal, which was imaginatively compelling but less convincing because of its lack of illustrations and case studies. It may be that Johnson plans to supplement this volume with more a more practical volume in the future, and if this is case, I look forward to this additional work with great expectation.

In sum, this book stands alone as an impressive achievement in thinking Christianly about political theory, a notoriously confusing and contested area of study. As all works of high caliber, this book is hard to summarize and deserves careful digestion and consideration. If you pick up your own copy, which I highly recommend, I am convinced that you will glean much wisdom and that your engagement with this text will challenge your imagination and motivate you to adopt and promote a "hospitable ethos of interaction" in a world of difference.
Shan
What does it mean to be disciples of Christ and participate in the diverse arena of public life? This is a pressing question for the western church today, as it seeks to discern whether it needs to "leave behind" its distinctives as it enters into public discourse. Johnson's book provides a readable guide to the theories of political liberalism which have helped to shape our current moment, and the advocates of "radical democracy" who have sought an alternate vision. In the midst of this debate, Johnson draws upon the rich trinitarian theology of Augustine for an ontology which moves beyond the vapid tolerance of difference toward an account of the world in which harmony and difference by participation in God is more primary than violence and uniformity. Johnson does not do this to argue that the Heavenly city should "take over" the earthly city. Rather, she draws upon distinctively Christian sources to help inform the church about what it should - and should not - expect from its life in the public and political realm. In doing so, she gives a vision in which the church deeply engages public life, but also avoids the idolatries which misshape Christians by pulling them away from their identity in the economy of the Triune God of grace.
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