Chapter

Rethinking Power: Theological Reflections

James Davison Hunter

in To Change the World

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199730803
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199777082 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730803.003.0014
Rethinking Power: Theological Reflections

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Only by narrowing an understanding of power to political or economic power can one imagine giving up power and becoming “powerless.” The creation mandate is a mandate to use power in the world in ways that reflect God’s intentions. The question for the church is not about choosing between power and powerlessness, but rather, how will the church and its people use the power that they have. The church has two essential tasks. The first is to disentangle the life and identity of the church from the life and identity of American society. The second task is for the church and for Christian believers to decouple the “public” from the “political.” The way of Christ differs. His way operated in complete obedience to God the Father, repudiated the symbolic trappings of elitism, manifested compassion concretely out of calling and vocation, and served the good of all, not just the good of the community of faith.

Keywords: Georges Sorel; power; politics; Herbert Rosinski; homo potens; social power; post-political; Nietzschean; Jesus; altera civitas

Chapter.  8434 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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