Grace and global justice : the socio-political mission of the church in an age of globalization, with special reference to Jürgen Moltmann, Stanley Hauerwas, and Oliver O'Donovan
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This thesis seeks to explore two fundamental theological questions: first, what does it mean for the Christian community to conceive of itself as a community defined by the covenant of grace; and second, what are the implications of this distinctiveness for its socio-political mission in an age of globalization. The project is interdisciplinary in its approach, and seeks to integrate biblical and theological inquiry together with the specific opportunities and challenges found in a globalized world. Our way of organizing this thesis is attuned to the demands of argument and method of research employed. Divided into three parts, the thesis derives from a critical examination of a theology of grace and its ramifications for the mission of the church in addressing contemporary issues. Part 1 commences by surveying broadly Reformational theological scholarship from the turn of the twentieth century, and explores how this thesis will make a distinctive contribution to scholarly discussion of the church's socio-political mission through focusing on the central doctrine of grace. Part 2 constitutes a comparative analysis of three leading contemporary theologians evaluating to what extent a theology of grace is evident in their theological political theories. Part 3 is where we seek to apply our theological investigation with the phenomenon of globalization, and engage with international political theory through concentrating on the concepts of power and justice in an interdependent world. The conclusion reached in this thesis is that the doctrine of grace, by virtue of its theocentric and trinitarian emphasis on revelation, reconciliation, election, and creation, directs the Christian community in an age of globalization to be an agent of God's justice in the socio-political arena through demonstrating servant-leadership to contribute in enabling the world's poorest and weakest citizens to share in the benefits brought by a globalized world.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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