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Reinhold Niebuhr and Contemporary Politics$
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Richard Harries and Stephen Platten

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199571833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571833.001.0001

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The Irony of American Evangelical Politics

The Irony of American Evangelical Politics

Chapter:
(p.202) 14 The Irony of American Evangelical Politics
Source:
Reinhold Niebuhr and Contemporary Politics
Author(s):

Kevin Carnahan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571833.003.0015

American evangelical political theology is facing a crisis of self-identity. Many evangelicals have claimed that evangelical political theology has been taken captive by the Republican Party. In reaction, evangelical reformers have attempted to wrest their political theology from the grip of partisan political programs. God, they claim, is not a Republican or a Democrat. Despite agreement on this project, however, proposals in American evangelicalism have failed to provide a political theology that maintains a sense of evangelical public responsibility and a sense of God's transcendence over partisan political debates. This chapter argues that Niebuhrian Christian Realism offers a theological approach that could open new avenues for political thought which might carry evangelicals past their present conundrum.

Keywords:   Reinhold Niebuhr, Christian realism, evangelical political theory, individualism

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