Political Visions & Illusions: A Survey & Christian Critique of Contemporary Ideologies
:What you believe about politics matters. The decades since the Cold War, with new alignments of post-9/11 global politics and the chaos of the late 2010s, are swirling with alternative visions of political life, ranging from ethnic nationalism to...
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:What you believe about politics matters. The decades since the Cold War, with new alignments of post-9/11 global politics and the chaos of the late 2010s, are swirling with alternative visions of political life, ranging from ethnic nationalism to individualistic liberalism. Political ideologies are not merely a matter of governmental efficacy, but are intrinsically and inescapably religious: each carries certain assumptions about the nature of reality, individuals and society, as well as a particular vision for the common good. These fundamental beliefs transcend the political sphere, and the astute Christian observer can discern the ways-sometimes subtle, sometimes not-in which ideologies are rooted in idolatrous worldviews. In this freshly updated, comprehensive study, political scientist David Koyzis surveys the key political ideologies of our era, including liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, democracy, and socialism. Koyzis gives each philosophy careful analysis and fair critique, unpacking the worldview issues inherent to each and pointing out essential strengths and weaknesses, as well as revealing the "narrative structure" of each-the stories they tell to make sense of public life and the direction of history. Koyzis concludes by proposing alternative models that flow out of Christianity's historic engagement with the public square, retrieving approaches for both individuals and the global, institutional church that hold promise for the complex political realities of the twenty-first century. Writing with broad international perspective and keen analytical insight, Koyzis is a sane and sensible guide for Christians working in the public square, culture watchers, political pundits, and all students of modern political thought.
Richard J. Mouw (Ph.D., University of Chicago) has served as president of Fuller Theological Seminary since 1993, after having served the seminary for four years as provost and senior vice president. A philosopher, scholar, and author, Mouw joined the faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary as professor of Christian philosophy and ethics in 1985. Before coming to Fuller he served for 17 years as professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has also served as a visiting professor at the Free University in Amsterdam.
He has been an editor of the Reformed Journal and has served on many editorial boards, including currently Books and Culture. He is the author of 17 books, including The God Who Commands; When the Kings Come Marching In; The Smell of Sawdust; He Shines in All Thats Fair: Culture and Common Grace,;Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport, and most recently, Praying at Burger King.
Mouw serves as a panelist in the online forum On Faith offered by Newsweek and the Washington Post. In 2007 Princeton Theological Seminary awarded Mouw the Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life.
- :foreword By Richard J. Mouw
- Preface To The Second Edition
- 1. Introduction: Ideology, Religion, And Idolatry
- 2. Liberalism: The Sovereignty Of The Individual
- 3. Conservatism: History As Source Of Norms
- 4. Nationalism: The Jealous God Of Nation
- 5. Democracy Or Democratism? When The People Claim Too Much
- 6. Socialism: Common Ownership As Redemptive
- 7. Transcending The Ideologies: Affirming Societal Pluriformity
- 8. Toward A Nonideological Alternative: Two Historic Christian Approaches
- 9. The State And Its Task: Doing Justice In God's World
- Epilogue: Toward The Future
- Concluding Ecclesiological Postscript
- Discussion Questions
- Selected Bibliography