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Public Theology in the Market State

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The accepted view that the modern state arose out of the 'wars of religion' is countered with evidence that the late fifteenth century reification of the state used a new category of religion as a human universal impulse to disempower the church and contain the church within the bounds of the state. As a further five successive forms of the state have come into existence new forms of communal and religious life have emerged: first, religious toleration; secondly, the development of a new 'public' realm; thirdly, the denominational form of church; fourthly, the appearance of mass media; fifthly, the embedding of the private citizen in a media world. In this last context either the church opts to reify the denominational church emphasizing individual democratic religious experience, or it realizes that an eschatological view of the gospel calls it to be a public church with a public theology.

Affiliations: 1: Charles Sturt University, Australia


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