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State, Church And Civil Society. An Analysis Of Two Recent Ecclesial Documents

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Chapter Summary

In a recent monography on Church, State and Civil Society, David Fergusson, professor of divinity at the University of Edinburgh, demands renewed attention for the rich tradition of Christian political theology. Although Fergusson offers many issues that ask for further discussion, in this chapter the author limits himself to the question of whether his central thesis - the continuation of the public role of the church no longer in privileged partnership with the state but as contributing institution of civil society - is reflected in the way ecclesial bodies present themselves in their statements. The author focuses on two recent declarations - one by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and one by Pope Benedict XVI. Finally the author summarizes their content and focuses on the sections that are relevant for the discussion and will make an analysis of the relationship of the church and the state in both documents.

Keywords: Christian political theology; Church; civil society; David Fergusson; ecclesial bodies; Pope Benedict XVI; state; World Alliance of Reformed Churches



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