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By Robin W. Lovin

Are faith and public lifed particularly separate spheres of human job? may still they be? during this booklet, Robin Lovin criticises modern political and theological perspectives that separate faith from public existence and advocates a extra built-in figuring out of recent society. Drawing at the paintings of 2 influential twentieth-century theologians, Reinhold Niebuhr and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, he argues that: *'Christian realism' encourages in charge engagement with social and political difficulties *Political dedication isn't restricted to the field of legislations and executive *The judgements of people impact international ethics

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Flying airplanes into skyscrapers to cause indiscriminate death, destruction, and public horror is terrorism. To call it murder confuses it with ordinary criminality. To call it martyrdom veils the concrete evil with a fabric of interpretation. Interpretation is essential, but interpretations work only if the concrete events are seen at the outset for what they are. 22 Elshtain traces her moral realism at this point back to Reinhold Niebuhr, who held that it is possible to make discriminating moral judgments about particular events, even when it is clear that all parties in the situation fall short of the demands of ideal justice.

But that redefinition of politics that confined it narrowly to the work of government in the context of the modern nation state did not end the search for the human good. In the modern world, people invented more ways to pursue, create, and maintain human goods, more ways to acquire and distribute them, more ways to reflect on them and evaluate them than any civilization had ever done before. In that new mix of institutions and activities, the specific task of government was to coordinate the pursuit of interests in a way that provided order and security for everyone.

15 Richard J. Neuhaus, The Naked Public Square (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1984). 16 Hauerwas, With the Grain of the Universe, p. 221. 17 Stanley Hauerwas, A Community of Character (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981), p. 10. 12:17 P1: KAE 9780521841948c01 CUUS127/Lovin 978 0 521 84194 8 Reflections on the End of an Era April 7, 2008 27 It is not a matter of learning from experience when to speak to the world and when not to. The effort to communicate a narrated truth outside of its narrative context never works.

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