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Understanding Liberal DemocracyEssays in Political Philosophy$
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Nicholas Wolterstorff and Terence Cuneo

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558957.001.0001

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Do Christians Have Good Reasons for Supporting Liberal Democracy?

Do Christians Have Good Reasons for Supporting Liberal Democracy?

(p.305) 13 Do Christians Have Good Reasons for Supporting Liberal Democracy?
Understanding Liberal Democracy

Nicholas Wolterstorff

Terence Cuneo

Oxford University Press

This paper traces the history of Christian political thought, noting that it has shifted from a perfectionist understanding of government to a protectionist understanding. A protectionist understanding places a very high priority on the government's preventing (and itself avoiding) the great evil of violating persons. Liberal democracy is fundamentally protectionist in its orientation. If one attends to the nature and worth of the person and recognizes the great evil of violating persons, then one can see that the liberal polity is of inherent worth. Accordingly, Christians have good reasons to support it.

Keywords:   Adams, Robert, Aquinas, Thomas, Audi, Robert, Calvin, John, natural rights, Rawls, John, worth of persons, violation of persons

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