Affections and Locality

Joshua Hordern

in Political Affections

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199646814
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744181 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Theological Ethics

Affections and Locality

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Chapter 4 develops the preceding chapters' argument by addressing afresh the democratic deficit and Jürgen Habermas' constitutional patriotism. The chapter contrasts Habermas' approach with Roger Scruton's account of pre-political membership and argues that affections must be intersubjective and localised to be transnational. Exposition of Luke and Acts uncovers the unbalanced affective attitudes of the legally overstretched and unjust Roman Empire in contrast to localised ecclesial and Israelite joy. This imbalance is highlighted through Nigel Biggar's affirmation of critical national loyalty over against both Christian and neo-Stoic cosmopolitanism. The chapter argues that such loyalty can overcome the democratic deficit and reenergise civic participation whereas constitutional patriotism is judged inadequately attuned to affections to achieve those ends. Civic participation requires a renewal of trust and belonging to locality, mediated by affectively astute representation; the question which follows is how to galvanise a theologically coherent, critically patriotic, localised civic participation.

Keywords: constitutional patriotism; locality; cosmopolitanism; nationality; belonging; Acts; Scruton; Habermas; Biggar

Chapter.  18883 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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