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To Change the WorldThe Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity Today$
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James Davison Hunter

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730803.001.0001

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Illusion, Irony, and Tragedy

Illusion, Irony, and Tragedy

Chapter:
(p.167) Chapter Six Illusion, Irony, and Tragedy
Source:
To Change the World
Author(s):

James Davison Hunter

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730803.003.0013

Politics has become a “social imaginary” that defines the horizon of understanding and the parameters for action. What is never challenged is the proclivity to think of the Christian faith and its engagements with culture in political terms. For all, the public has been conflated with the political. But the ressentiment that marks the way they operate makes it clear that a crucial part of what motivates politics is a will to dominate. However, for politics to be about more than power, it depends upon a realm that is independent of the political process. The deepest irony is that the Christian faith has the possibility of autonomous institutions and practices that could be a source of ideals and values that could elevate politics to more than a quest for power. Instead, by nurturing its resentments, they become functional Nietzcheans, participating in the very cultural breakdown they so ardently strive to resist.

Keywords:   social imaginary, public, negation, democracy vs. state, functional Nietzscheans, politics, politicization, ressentiment

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