Messianic Ethics and Diaspora Communities

P. Travis Kroeker

in Religious Voices in Public Places

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199566624
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191722042 | DOI:
Messianic Ethics and Diaspora Communities

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This chapter argues that most forms of political liberalism — including those of theorists such as Jeffrey Stout who are receptive to the consideration of religious reasons and theological ethical contributions in a secular democracy — prohibit serious discussion of the religious cosmologies underlying religious ethical discourse. In particular, it is argued that secular state sovereignty rooted in Hobbesian political theory effectively eliminates all forms of messianic political theology from public consideration. The chapter goes on to argue that a messianic ethics engages secular pluralism critically in a public stance that is neither accommodationist nor separatist, but ‘diasporic’. It acts ethically from a ‘weak Messianic’ power (Benjamin) exercised not through the coercive enforcement of political ideals but in quotidian acts of community service that build up the well-being of the saeculum from below.

Keywords: messianic ethics; political theology; sovereignty; secular pluralism; liberalism; diaspora; cosmology; Jeffrey Stout

Chapter.  9962 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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