24 June 2010

Book: Christians as Political Animals: Taking the Measure of Modernity and Modern Democracy

Just published: Marc D. Guerra, "Christians as Political Animals: Taking the Measure of Modernity and Modern Democracy" (ISI Books, June 2010):


Publisher's description: "While it is common for today's secularists to push organized religion to the margins of politics, it is equally common for Christians to believe that modern democracy is the only type of regime compatible with their faith. But in fact, this belief cannot be squared with the long and rich tradition of Christian political thought, as Marc D. Guerra makes clear in Christians as Political Animals. Guerra shows that a problematic shift occurred when Christian thinkers began to argue that their religion received its best political articulation in democracy. Calling on thinkers ranging from Augustine and Aquinas to twentieth-century theologians and political philosophers, Guerra argues that while modern democracy and its various attendant goods should be affirmed, Christian thought must recognize the limited scope of the political realm and maintain the proper critical distance. Christians as Political Animals reminds modern democracy of a truth it is prone to forget: civil society relies on extrapolitical goods such as love, friendship, morality, and faith for its health and survival." (bold removed)

Endorsement: "This lucid and wonderfully thoughtful book challenges two regnant orthodoxies of the day: that democracy is the political correlate of Christianity and that Christianity is reducible to a humanitarian moral message. Christians as Political Animals is a most welcome guide for confronting the theological-political problem in a democratic age." (Daniel J. Mahoney, Assumption College)

Marc D. Guerra is Assistant Professor of Theology at Ave Maria University.

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