Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Advent and its political theology

"In the Christ-event we found the elements of God's rule: an act of power, an act of judgment and the gift of possession. But these elements are presented in the narrative account of a decisive act, an act in which God's rule was mediated and his people reconstituted in Christ. We are told of the Advent of the one in whom the possession was vested, the conflict that his coming evoked and the vindication that he received at God's hand. To speak of God's rule from this point on must mean more than to assert divine sovereignty, or even divine intervention, in general terms. It means recounting this narrative and drawing the conclusions implied in it. And so we face the task of tracing its chief moments. We cannot discuss the question of 'secular' government, the question from which Western political theology has too often been content to start, unless we approach it historically, from a Christology that has been displayed in narrative form as Gospel."
(Oliver O' Donovan, The Desire of the Nations: Rediscovering the roots of political theology [UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996], p.133)

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