Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-17-2021

Publication Title

Political Theology

Volume

22

Issue

8

First Page

680

Last Page

698

Abstract

At a time of outspoken nationalism, Christian realism accurately diagnoses idolatry of the state as a political and theological problem. The power of sovereign states protects self-determination but can allow states to unjustly oppress members of minority groups. From a Christian realist perspective, states’ power relative to other institutions can encourage religious idolatry, with citizens devoting their ultimate loyalty to a state. To mitigate this problem, Christian realism argues for recognition of states’ limitations. However, Christian realism itself remains beholden to a notion of states’ sovereign agency rooted in an incomplete picture of human nature. Recent feminist and postcolonial scholarship on human relationality shows how state sovereignty and agency are modified by relationships within networks of local, national, and global institutions. This analysis enriches Christian realist critiques of idolatry of the state. It argues for recognition of the role of grassroots communities and enhanced cooperation among states and other institutions.

Comments

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Political Theology on March 17, 2021, available online: https://doi-org.leo.lib.unomaha.edu/10.1080/1462317X.2021.1893958

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Saturday, September 17, 2022

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