Fortress Press

The Augustinian Alternative: Religious Skepticism and the Search for a Liberal Politics

The Augustinian Alternative

Religious Skepticism and the Search for a Liberal Politics

Benjamin J. Wood (Author)

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This book’s central claim is that a close reading of Augustine’s epistemology can help political theologians develop affirmative accounts of political liberalism. This claim is set in a scholarly context that is profoundly hostile to constructive theological readings of liberal culture. As a corrective to such antagonism, this book suggests that, far from being natural opponents, Christian communities can work fruitfully with political liberals based on common principles. A key component in this argument is the theological reevaluation of the ancient skeptical tradition. While the ancient skeptics are habitually treated by scholars as minor characters in the story of Augustine’s theological development, this volume argues that they played a significant role in shaping both Augustine’s theology and the subsequent character of the Augustinian tradition. By placing Augustine’s reading of the skeptics in dialogue with contemporary culture, this book constructs a viable form of liberal Christian politics that is attentive both to his sin-sensitive account of public life and his eschatological vision of the church. 

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • ISBN 9781506432618
  • Format Hardcover
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 240
  • Publication Date July 15, 2017

Samples

Contents:

Introduction

1. Political Liberalism and its Theological Opponents

2. Political Liberalism and the Possibilities of Augustinian Skepticism

3. The Liberal State: An Augustinian Defense

4. Montaigne and the Notion of “The Secular”: An Alternative to Radical Orthodoxy

5. Obeying, Believing, and Rebelling: Montaigne’s Theology as Liberal-Christian Politics

6. Contemporary Political Landscapes: Augustine against Neoliberalism

Conclusion: Augustinian Epistemology and the Prospect of Christian Liberalism

Bibliography

Index 

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