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Civil Society, Civil Religion - Andrew Shanks

Civil Society, Civil Religion

Hardcover Published: 28th September 1995
ISBN: 9780631197584
Number Of Pages: 264

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Civil Society, Civil Religion pioneers an essentially new genre of theology: a form of pure civil theology, on a systematic basis.
Such a theology is intended as a theory of critical civil religion. In the past, 'civil religion' has always been understood as the religious self-expression of a particular state-establishment. But with the increasing organization of international 'civil society' new possibilities open up. Andrew Shanks argues that a truly liberating civil theology must articulate the spiritual basis for what the philosopher Jan Patocka called 'the solidarity of the shaken' - overlapping with all manner of confessional loyalties. It would thus be a response to 'revelation' in the whole of history, but above all in those memories that remain most immediately traumatic and disturbing to us with regard to our identities as citizens. Each confessional tradition, for instance, has its own particular angle on the experience of twentieth-century totalitarianism. But what, in more general terms, would constitute an ideal culture of proper 'remembrancing' here?
Andrew Shanks also considers more mainstream Christian-confessional criticisms of modernity, such as those of Kierkegaard and Barth, and explores the broader requirements of 'the solidarity of the shaken' with particular reference to Nietzsche, Levinas and, above all, Hegel.
Civil Society, Civil Religion is an important and original book, in significant respects carrying forward the debate initiated by John Milbank's Theology and Social Theory, albeit in a very different way. It should be required reading for academics and students in the fields of theology, religion and political philosophy.

Industry Reviews

"The question of religion and civil society is becoming central for all critical discourse. Andrew Shanks' new book approaches it with a European breadth of seriousness." John Milbank, Peterhouse, Cambridge

"This book is written with wit, passion and clarity; not the least important thing about it is its thorough immersion in the wider European world of culture and politics. It should be read by anyone concerned for the future of a genuinely democratic politics in our society, as well as by anyone who still looks to religious language to offer a point of moral reference in times of violence." Rowan Williams, Bishop of Monmouth, Wales


Part I: Negative Revelation: .

A. Hannah Arendt.

1. Isonomy.

2. Auctoritas.

3. The Life of the Mind.

B. Simone Weil.

1. Deracinement.

2.'The Absolute Good.'.

Part II: Religion, Civility and Faith:.

A. Against Confessional Exclusivism.

1. Truth as Subjectivity.

2. Faith versus 'Religion'.

3. Affinity Group / Open Forum.

B. Civil Theology in Christendom.

Part III: 'The Solidarity of The Shaken': Civil Theology And Historical Consciousness:.

A. Jan Patocka's Meta-history of Historical Consciousness.

B. The History of 'Nihilism'.

C.'Nur Noch ein Gott...'.

Part IV: The Virtues Of Discernment:.

A. Free-spiritedness (Heidegger, Hegel, Nietzsche).

B. Flair for Tradition (Hegel).

C. Transcendent Generosity (Levinas).

Part V: 'Anti-Politics'.

ISBN: 9780631197584
ISBN-10: 0631197583
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 28th September 1995
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.86 x 16.58  x 2.11
Weight (kg): 0.53
Edition Number: 1

Earn 386 Qantas Points
on this Book