At a time when secular liberalism is in crisis and when the civic contribution of religion is being re-assessed, the rich tradition of Christian political theology demands renewed attention. This book, based on the 2001 Bampton Lectures, explores the relationship of the church both to the state and civil institutions. Arguing that theological approaches to the state were often situated within the context of Christendom and are therefore outmoded, the author claims that a more differentiated approach can be developed by attention to the concept of civil society. The book offers a critical assessment of the effect of the First Amendment in the USA and, in a concluding chapter, it defends the case for continuing disestablishment in England and Scotland.

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