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The Ways Of Judgment: The Bampton Lectures, 2003 [Hardcover]

By Oliver O'Donovan (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   330
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.3" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.14"
Weight:   1.44 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 30, 2005
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802829201  
EAN  9780802829207  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
In this probing book Oliver O'Donovan extends the exploration into the correspondence between theology and politics that he began in The Desire of the Nations. While that earlier work took as its starting point the biblical proclamation of God's authority, The Ways of Judgment approaches political theology from the political side. Responsive to developments such as the uncertain role of the United Nations after the Cold War and the expansion of the European Union, O'Donovan also draws on the extensive tradition of Christian political thought and a range of contemporary theologians. Rather than supposing, as does some political theology, that the right political orientations are well understood and that theological beliefs should be renegotiated to fit them, O'Donovan considers contemporary social and political realities to be impenetrably obscure and elusive. Finding the gospel proclamation luminous by contrast, O'Donovan sheds light from the Christian faith upon the intricate challenge of seeking the good in late-modern Western society. Pursuing his analysis in three movements, O'Donovan first considers the paradigmatic political act, the act of judgment, and then takes up the question of forming political institutions through representation. Finally, he tackles the opposition between political institutions and the church, provocatively investigating how Christians can be the community instructed by Jesus to "judge not."

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More About Oliver O'Donovan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Oliver O'Donovan is a fellow of the British Academy and professor emeritus of Christian ethics and practical theology at the University of Edinburgh. His other books include The Desire of the Nations, The Ways of Judgment, andResurrection and Moral Order.

Oliver O'Donovan has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Oxford Oxford University University of Oxford University.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Theology > General   [4167  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Church & State   [1182  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The Warys of Judgment  Jun 22, 2009
An exploration of the foundations of governmental responsibilities. Its not an easy read. Its a worth while effort.
Clear and Balanced Thinking on Hard Issues  Jan 1, 2009

Oliver O'Donovan (hereafter OO) argues that the authority of government resides in the act of judgment (3-4). The thrones of the world are subordinated to the task of witnessing to the New Jerusalem. This is commonly, if sometimes misleadingly, called "Christendom." Judgment is an act of moral discrimination that establishes a new public context. Furthermore, judgment must be public in character. Private individuals (e.g., vigilantes) can never speak for the whole. Given the above definition of judgment, we can define punishment as "judgment enacted on the person, property, or liberty of the condemned party" (107).

OO's discussions of judgment and punishment, always in a communal context, necessarily lead to discussions of international judgment. OO ultimately challenges our idols of democracy and the "liberal rights" tradition. We eventually see that all political orders are failing (and fading) and in their dimming light we see the rise of a more lasting--eternal--order of international judgment: the kingdom of God.

Pros: As always, OO is judicious and balanced, writing from the mountaintops and not troubled with petty disputes. His use of Scripture, while sparse at times, is always timely and refreshing.

Cons: Much of this book will not make sense unless the reader is familiar with OO's other two works, *Desire of the Nations* and *Resurrection and Moral Order,* both of them demanding (but rewarding!) reads. OO can be dense and the reader is tempted to shout, "Just get to the point!" Perhaps. Either way, it does make for slow reading. I had to read this book twice.

Here is another qualm I have with the book. In the chapter on International Government, OO gives a sane discussion on the UN and EU. Contra end-times fundamentalists, the Christian narrative easily allows for the usefulness of international governing bodies. Contra secular liberals, these bodies of international government are often weak, arbitrary, and rest on a shaky foundation of authority if divorced from the Christian narrative. That's good reasoning on Prof O'Donovan's part. He then makes a startling faux pax on the application of International government (and to his credit, I think he realized this argument couldn't stick). On page 222 OO quotes international authorities saying that intervention in the Balkans violated UN resolutions, but that we might have had to make an exception anyway. Fair enough. The problem is, as he realizes, if you start making exceptions, it's hard to stop. But still, an intelligent discussion, nonetheless.

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