Natural Law and Evangelical Political Thought

Natural Law and Evangelical Political Thought

by Jesse Covington, Bryan T. McGraw, Micah Watson, Vincent Bacote, J. Budziszewski
     
 

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Natural law has long been a cornerstone of Christian political thought, providing moral norms that ground law in a shareable account of human goods and obligations. Despite this history, twentieth and twenty-first-century evangelicals have proved quite reticent to embrace natural law, casting it as a relic of scholastic Roman Catholicism that underestimates the

Overview

Natural law has long been a cornerstone of Christian political thought, providing moral norms that ground law in a shareable account of human goods and obligations. Despite this history, twentieth and twenty-first-century evangelicals have proved quite reticent to embrace natural law, casting it as a relic of scholastic Roman Catholicism that underestimates the import of scripture and the division between Christians and non-Christians. As recent critics have noted, this reluctance has posed significant problems for the coherence and completeness of evangelical political reflections. Responding to evangelically-minded thinkers’ increasing calls for a re-engagement with natural law, this volume explores the problems and prospects attending evangelical rapprochement with natural law. Many of the chapters are optimistic about an evangelical re-appropriation of natural law, but note ways in which evangelical commitments might lend distinctive shape to this engagement.

Editorial Reviews

David L. Weeks
An important contribution to the literature on evangelical political thought. The authors tackle a critical topic with interesting and diverse arguments, analyses, and insights. Highly recommended.
Mark A. Noll
This volume offers both substantial reflection on the concept of natural law in particular and encouraging signs of serious evangelical thought in general. Because of the volume's high level of careful engagement, the book deserves a wide readership from political theorists as well as at least some political activists.
Journal of Markets & Morality
Professors Covington, McGraw, and Watson have assembled a fine collection of essays that analyzes the ways in which evangelical theologians can and should engage natural law’s intellectual pedigree and contemporary relevance. Three strengths of the book are (1) its insightful critiques of voluntarism; (2) its articulation of natural law’s amenability to a common language for public reasoning and discourse; and (3) its helpful appraisal of natural law’s Achilles tendon, that is, its susceptibility to being co-opted by the status quo.
Religious Studies Review
In this excellent, scholarly volume, thoughtful essays by J.D. Charles, R. George, and others examine the reticence of most modern evangelicals to the claims of natural law theory.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739173220
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
11/16/2012
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

David L. Weeks
An important contribution to the literature on evangelical political thought. The authors tackle a critical topic with interesting and diverse arguments, analyses, and insights. Highly recommended.
Mark A. Noll
This volume offers both substantial reflection on the concept of natural law in particular and encouraging signs of serious evangelical thought in general. Because of the volume's high level of careful engagement, the book deserves a wide readership from political theorists as well as at least some political activists.

Meet the Author

Jesse Covington is assistant professor of political science at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA.

Bryan McGraw is an assistant professor of politics and international relations at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL.

Micah Watson is director of the Center for Politics & Religion and assistant professor of political science at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.

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