New Book by Kenan Senior Fellow Launched with Lecture and Discussion

Book launch_CHRIST AND THE COMMON LIFE_FLYER_PDFDuke Divinity School will hold a November 1st book launch and special lecture/discussion on Christ and the Common Life: Political Theology and the Case for Democracy, a newly-released book by Luke Bretherton, Kenan Senior Fellow and Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School.

Published in May by Eerdmans Publishing Co., the book “provides an introduction to historical and contemporary theological reflection on politics and opens up a compelling vision for a Christian commitment to democracy. ”

In the book, Bretherton considers a range of Christian approaches to political engagement across the Americas, Africa, and Europe. In dialogue with Scripture, along with numerous theologians, ethicists, and political thinkers, Bretherton examines the dynamic relationship between who we are in relation to God and who we are as moral and political animals. He addresses fundamental political questions about poverty and injustice, forming a common life with strangers, and handling power constructively.

Through Bretherton’s analysis of debates concerning race, class, economics, the environment, interfaith relations, and other topics, he develops an innovative political theology of democracy as a way through which Christians can speak and act faithfully within the contemporary context, and at the same time pursue a just and compassionate common life with others who don’t share their beliefs and practices.

Christ and the Common Life guides readers through the political landscape and identifies the primary vocabulary, ideas, and schools of thought that shape Christian reflection on politics. Ideal for use in the classroom, the book equips students to understand politics and its positive and negative role in fostering neighbor love.
Source: divinity.duke.edu (read full description) //
See a video of Professor Luke Bretherton discussing his new book.

Bretherton added:

“At a time when many in churches think democracy is either unable to address systemic issues such as climate change or are joining authoritarian movements, this book examines why democracy became a key way Christians understand the command to love their neighbor and makes a case for why democratic politics is a vital way to faithfully struggle for justice and against all forms of domination. In doing so, the book touches on many issues of central concern to the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Religions in Public Life Initiative, particularly around inequality, diversity, racism, the environment, and the relationship between ethics and politics.”

The launch event will feature Miroslav Volf, Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale University and Founding Director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, giving the keynote lecture in response to the book and a panel discussion. In addition to Bretherton, panelists will be: Melissa Snarr, Associate Professor of Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt Divinity School; and from Duke Divinity School, Patrick Smith, Associate Research Professor of Theological Ethics and Bioethics and Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute, and Dean L. Gregory Jones, Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Distinguished Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry.

Friday, November 1, 2019 – 5:30pm
Penn Pavilion, West Campus, Duke University, 107 Union Dr., Durham, NC 27701
(more information)