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Political Agape
Christian Love and Liberal Democracy
PAPERBACK; Published: 4/30/2015
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7246-3
441 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9

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Series: Emory University Studies in Law and Religion (EUSLR)

What is the place of Christian love in a pluralistic society dedicated to "liberty and justice for all"? What would it mean to take both Jesus Christ and Abraham Lincoln seriously and attempt to translate love of God and neighbor into every quarter of life, including law and politics?

Timothy Jackson here argues that agapic love of God and neighbor is the perilously neglected civil virtue of our time — and that it must be considered even before justice and liberty in structuring political principles and policies. Jackson then explores what "political agape" might look like when applied to such issues as the death penalty, same-sex marriage, and adoption.
REVIEWS
Journal of Church and State
"A richly textured and engaging work that locates discussions of the inter-relationship between love and justice within the field of Christian ethics in a wider and important set of conversations."
Theology
"The idea that 'some politically relevant truths can only be grasped in religiously sonorous terms' swims against the present tide but it is a powerful one. Reading it in a book that attempts to throw out liberal democracy's dirty bathwater without simultaneously abandoning its precious cargo, is a profitable exercise."
Nicholas Wolterstorff
— author of Justice in Love and Justice: Rights and Wrongs
"This book by Timothy Jackson has the paramount virtue of inviting and provoking the reader to think deeply about issues of fundamental importance — in particular, about the proper role of agapic love in our lives as citizens. . . . Also invites and provokes us to think deeply about some of the major figures in our intellectual and political tradition, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. among them. Altogether an important defense of the thesis that prophetic Christianity is of fundamental importance for liberal democracies."
Robin W. Lovin
— author of Introduction to Christian Ethics: Goals, Duties, and Virtues
"Treats the relationship between Christian love and liberal democracy in a way that reaches deeper into history and theology than most discussions of liberal theory. Jackson offers us a valuable survey of recent Christian ethics, an original constructive proposal, and detailed analysis of questions about life, death, marriage, and family — questions that demand theological attention today."
Jeffrey Stout
— author of Blessed Are the Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America
"Here is a baker's dozen of learned, rigorous, elegant essays on what Christian love implies for our understanding of liberal democracy. . . . The chapters on sanctity and dignity and the concluding reflections on Martin Luther King Jr. are among the best things ever written on those topics."

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