The history of Christianity's relationship to government is long and complex. From the glory days of the Holy Roman Empire, when church and state were virtually synymous, to the present day's dizzying array of deminations and forms of government, Christian ideas about the state have varied tremendously. This book will attempt to bring order to the chaos by offering essays on how particular branches of the Christian tradition-Catholic, reformed, evangelical, etc.-view the institution of the modern state. Each chapter begins by discussing the historical roots of a particular tradition, moves on to address the theological distinctives of that tradition, and finally discusses the ways in which the theological beliefs about the appropriate role of the state influence political behavior. The essays will t be limited geographically, but will rather look at each tradition as broadly as possible, from the institutionalized (but t necessarily thriving) churches of Europe, to the independent Christian movements of Africa, to the vibrant religious marketplace of the United States.
Joireman is the Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at Wheaton College