Archives For Democracy

 

A Democratic Experiment

A Review of

Undomesticated Dissent:
Democracy and the Public Virtue of Religious Nonconformity
Curtis Freeman

Hardcover: Baylor UP, 2017
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Reviewed by James Honig
 
 

The dissenting movement 17th and 18th century England has been a lacunae in my knowledge and understanding of church history. While I have read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress as a young pastor and  Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe as a teen and again in college, I had little awareness of Bunyan’s association with the dissenting movement and of Defoe’s, nothing.  And while I have read isolated poems of William Blake, never the long and difficult Jerusalem.

That gap has at least been closed by Undomesticated Dissent: Democracy and the Public Virtue of Religious Nonconformity. Curtis Will Freeman, on the faculty of Duke Divinity School, places these three towering figures of literary history firmly into the outline of church history. Freeman tells the story of the works in their historical contexts, and especially their context in the history of the Christian Church, with special attention to the church in North America.

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A Brief Review of
(And Reflection on)

The Ethics of Voting
Jason Brennan
Hardback: Princeton UP, 2011.
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Reviewed by Chris Smith.

Well, here we are in 2012, another new year and another presidential election year.  The television and internet news media are already buzzing constantly about the run-up to the November elections. But with all this buzz, how often do we think about how or why we vote, or even – GASP! – if we should be voting at all.  Enter Jason Brennan’s recent book The Ethics of Voting.

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“Polis and Ekklesia: Friends or Foes?

A Review of
An Awareness of What is Missing:
Faith and Reason in a Post-Secular Age
.
By Jürgen Habermas, et al.

 Reviewed by
Matthew Kaul.

An Awareness of What is Missing:
Faith and Reason in a Post-Secular Age
.
By Jürgen Habermas, et al.
Translated – Cieran Cronin.
Hardback: Polity Press, 2010.
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J Habermas - AN AWARENESS OF WHAT IS MISSINGFor a range of reasons, the question of the relationship between religious faith and liberal democracy has recently risen to the forefront of political and religious discourse. From Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to current President Barack Obama, from the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to Pope Benedict XVI, from evangelical megachurch pastor Greg Boyd to scores of small church pastors across the country, an incredibly wide-ranging set of people have sought to address this question. 

The problem, stated simply, is one that goes back to Augustine, or even to Paul: how does the eternal kingdom of God relate to the temporal, fleeting, present power of the State? For a liberal democracy, the question is even more urgent, because there is no divinely-ordained kingship which we either submit to or disobey. Rather, (theoretically, at least) we ourselves are both subject and legislator. Is it the Christian’s responsibility, then, to legislate “Christian values”? What relationship should the religious citizen have to those fellow citizens who hold different religious beliefs? 

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In memory of the anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s death (last Wednesday, April 8), we offer you the following video “Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Truth and Politics” the Burke Lecture given by Stanley Hauerwas.


Also, I am not able to embed the clip, but JesusRadicals.com has a superb video of Yoder speaking on the limits of democracy:

[ Click Here for this Video ]