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Politik och kyrka i saeculum: Historiesyn och politisk teologi hos Oliver O’Donovan
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2016 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Politics and Church in saeculum : History and Political Theology in Oliver O’Donovan (English)
Abstract [en]

Politics and Church in Saeculum – History and Political Theology in Oliver O’DonovanThis essay explores the relation between church, history and politics in the theology of Oliver O’Donovan. It asks the question of how O’Donovan’s political theology and understanding of the church is shaped by his view of history and how God acts within history. It shows how O’Donovan, following Augustine, stresses the tension between the two cities within history – the City of God and the City of Man – and uses this as a paradigm in which to understand the secular political authority. As a provisional ordering in saeculum, the earthly City of Man has a temporary function, awaiting God’s final reign in eschaton, in which it will hand over its authority to Christ. The church, though being a political community already prefiguring the reign of God in Christ, it still lives, in this age, under the secular rule. Awaiting the coming Kingdom its primary occupation is that of witness, inviting society and its ruler alike to accept the kingship of Christ. As a successful example of this mission O’Donovan gives a significant focus to the era known as Christendom, in which the western civilization, following the conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine, is understood as a Christian society with Christian rulers. In discussing O’Donovan’s political theology, the essay asks questions about O’Donovan’s reading and usage of Christendom and tries to reason about the application of O’Donovan’s theology in a situation where Christendom no longer defines the western experience (or what has been called a predominantely post-Christendom context). An important question in the discussion is whether O’Donovan stays true to the heritage of Augustine, or if he, in theory as well as practice, tends to follow other voices within the theology of history.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 68 p.
Keyword [en]
Oliver O’Donovan, political theology, history, Augustine, City of God, Christendom
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-123539OAI: diva2:946519
Subject / course
Available from: 2016-07-06 Created: 2016-07-05 Last updated: 2016-07-06Bibliographically approved

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