Posts Tagged ‘sectarianism’

The Renewal of the Political? The Holy Spirit and the Public Square

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 by Amos Yong

religion-politicsThe legacy of what historians now call “Christendom” certainly casts a long shadow in the ongoing discussion of Christianity and its relationship to the public square (by which I mean the all-inclusive spaces of the political, economic, social, civic, and international). Some commentators have certainly been, especially recently, very critical of the “Christendom” posture, and for good reason. When Christians have wielded political power, -going back to Christianity becoming the religion of the state in the post-Constantinian West, they became enmeshed in the politicking mechanisms of statecraft which focus mainly on worldly matters with little capacity to appreciate, much less account for, the spiritually important aspects of human life. The blurring of lines between church and state, with all of the difficult consequences that played out through the medieval, Reformation, and early modern periods, is testimony to how, even with the most sincere leaders in both domains, the commitments and priorities of church and state often pulled in contrary directions. This is not to say either that “Christendom” itself is irredeemable or that it cannot be managed more successfully under different circumstances. Certainly its achievements can be appreciated, as Oliver O’Donovan has so eloquently argued. It is to say that because the documents of the New Testament were written by those situated in very different political circumstances, it is difficult to clearly articulate a biblically-informed “political theology of Christendom.” Read the rest of this entry »