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Politics as a Christian Vocation: Faith and Democracy Today [Hardcover]

By Franklin I. Gamwell (Author)
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Item description for Politics as a Christian Vocation: Faith and Democracy Today by Franklin I. Gamwell...

Many democratic citizens, including many Christians, think that separation of religion from the state means the exclusion of religious beliefs from the political process. That view is mistaken. Both democracy and Christian faith, this book shows, call all Christians to make their beliefs effective in politics. But the discussion here differs from others. Most have trouble relating religion to democratic discussion and debate because they assume that religious differences cannot be publicly debated. Against this majority view, this book argues that Christian faith belongs in politics because it shares with democracy a full commitment to rational pursuit of the truth. The book then develops ideals of justice and the common good Christians should advocate within the democratic process and shows the difference they make for contemporary politics in the United States, focusing specifically on issues of abortion, affirmative action, and economic distribution.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Politics as a Christian Vocation: Faith and Democracy Today by Franklin I. Gamwell has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Choice - 06/01/2006 page 1748
  • Choice - 06/01/2005 page 1835

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Cambridge University Press
Pages   185
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.18" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.73"
Weight:   0.56 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 29, 2011
Publisher   Cambridge University Press
ISBN  0521838762  
ISBN13  9780521838764  

Availability  81 units.
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More About Franklin I. Gamwell

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Franklin I. Gamwell is professor of religious ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His books include The Meaning of Religious Freedom: Modern Politics and the Democratic Resolution (SUNY Press, 1995) and The Divine Good: Modern Moral Theory and the Necessity of God (HarperCollins, 1990, and Southern Methodist University Press, 1996).

Franklin I. Gamwell has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Chicago.

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Product Categories

1Books > Bargain Books > Nonfiction > Politics
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity

Reviews - What do customers think about Politics as a Christian Vocation: Faith and Democracy Today?

Merging religion and state is a Christian vocation?   Nov 19, 2004
This book is an incongruity. The author takes the rather odd view for a political liberal that religion and state should not be separated. He asserts that politics is a Christian vocation. He holds that democratic debate and discussion are Christian virtues. According to Gamwell, Christian faith belongs in politics because it is based on reason and justice. He is pro-abortion, pro-affirmative action, pro-economic redistribution.
The incongruity of the book is that, despite the author's claims otherwise, it doesn't square with Christianity. The Christian religion sanctions the need for social order in the form of the state, but doesn't sanction majoritarian democracy, or democratic socialism, or communism as the Christian ideal. What is missing in Gamwell's book is the Christian story and message of how the founder of Christianity was murdered at the hands of the state and that there is a higher authority than the state. Gamwell opens himself to criticism that he worships majoritarian democracy when the Judeo-Christian tradition might characterize it as a form of idolatry. Gamwell says everything short of wanting to establish a state church -- a very un-American idea. Gamwell has perhaps forgotten that Hitler was elected by popular vote and disbanded a democratic legislature in order to bring about greater income equality by national socialism . Gamwell suffers from a national delusion that we live in a direct democracy rather than a constitutional representative republic. He believes that the popular will, as expressed by people voting themselves a larger slice of the economic pie of others, represents a "moral" good in society. To Gamwell, democratic political ideals should be enshrined as a new religion. Gamwell's religion is curiously based on reason alone, not faith alone. He fails to recognize that reason must first be grounded in a worldview. Gamwell's worldview is economic materialism - or neo-Marxism. Contrary to Gamwell, it has been the Christian view that "man does not live by bread (or materialism) alone."
Nonetheless, I recommend reading Gamwell's book to understand where those on the political and religious left are coming from. Gamwell is a good writer and a distinguished author and professor and his book is devoid of any hate speech for those he disagrees with. As someone who has had a long career in government, I would alternatively recommend reading sociologist Max Weber's essay "Politics as a Vocation" as a counterweight to Gamwell's book.

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