Messianic Political Theology and Diaspora Ethics: Essays in Exile

Messianic Political Theology and Diaspora Ethics: Essays in Exile

by P. Travis Kroeker

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Overview

Political theology as a normative discourse has been controversial not only for secular political philosophers who are especially suspicious of messianic claims but also for Jewish and Christian thinkers who differ widely on its meaning. These essays mount an argument for a ""Messianic Political Theology"" rooted in an interpretation of biblical (especially Pauline), Augustinian, and Radical Reformation readings of messianism as a thoroughly political and theological vision that gives rise to what the author calls ""Diaspora Ethics."" In conversation also with Platonic, Jewish, and Continental thinkers, Kroeker argues for an exilic practice of political ethics in which the secular is built up theologically ""from below"" in the form of public service that flows from messianic political worship. Such a ""weak messianic power"" practiced by the messianic body inhabits an apocalyptic political economy in which the mystery of love and the mystery of evil are agonistically unveiled together in the power of the cross--not as an instrument of domination but in the form of the servant. This is not simply a matter of ""pacifism"" but of a messianic posture rooted in the renunciation of possessive desire that pertains to all aspects of everyday human life in the household (oikos), the academy, and the polis.

""Kroeker pursues a style of radical theological reflection at once intellectually sophisticated and spiritually profound: there is much to learn here of the difficult and patient labor of living out a Christian particularity that, in love and dispossession, foreswears both isolation from and conformity with our nihilistic age for the sake of a better gospel witness. These essays represent an invaluable Anabaptist contribution to contemporary political theology and ethics.""
--Philip G. Ziegler, King's College, University of Aberdeen

""For those of us who have been eagerly anticipating a synthetic expression of Travis Kroeker's mature vision, this compelling volume is a rich and challenging gift that has definitely been worth the wait! Thoroughly embedding quotidian matters in an apocalyptic frame, he vividly displays new ways of thriving in diaspora with exquisite care and literary flair. It is not too much to claim that, through this volume, Kroeker has become one of the most substantial and relevant neo-Anabaptist (and yet Augustinian!) voices of our generation.""
--Paul Martens, Baylor University, author of The Heterodox Yoder

""As these lively and learned essays splendidly demonstrate, the messianic is above all about the world we live in. It exposes the presumption that our lives in the world must be determined by sovereignty, mastery, and possession and opens the possibility of freedom for service to the world in discipleship to its crucified Lord. Engaging Paul and Plato, Augustine and the Anabaptists, Benjamin and Badiou, and many others, Kroeker sketches an alternative lineage of Christian political theology that deserves the closest attention of everyone who works in the field or cares about it. I enthusiastically recommend it.""
--Gerald McKenny, University of Notre Dame

P. Travis KroP. Travis Kroeker is Professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He is the author of Christian Ethics and Political Economy in North America and coauthor (with Bruce Ward) of Remembering the End: Dostoevsky as Prophet to Modernity. He is currently working on another book extending this reading of messianic political theology through the interpretation of a range of Christian and non-Christian literary works.eker is Professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He is the author of Christian Ethics and Political Economy in North America and coauthor (with Bruce Ward) of Remembering the End: Dostoevsky as Prophet to Modernity. He is currently working on another book extending this reading of messianic political theology through the interpretation of a range of Chr

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620329870
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 11/09/2017
Series: Theopolitical Visions , #23
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

P. Travis KroP. Travis Kroeker is Professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He is the author of Christian Ethics and Political Economy in North America and coauthor (with Bruce Ward) of Remembering the End: Dostoevsky as Prophet to Modernity. He is currently working on another book extending this reading of messianic political theology through the interpretation of a range of Christian and non-Christian literary works.eker is Professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He is the author of Christian Ethics and Political Economy in North America and coauthor (with Bruce Ward) of Remembering the End: Dostoevsky as Prophet to Modernity. He is currently working on another book extending this reading of messianic political theology through the interpretation of a range of Christian and non-Christian literary works.

Table of Contents

Permissions ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Part 1 Apocalyptic Messianism and Political Theology

1 Living "As If Not": Messianic Becoming or the Practice of Nihilism? 15

2 The Theological Politics of Plato and Isaiah: A Debate Rejoined 34

3 Augustine's Messianic Political Theology: An Apocalyptic Critique of Political Augustinianism 46

4 Messianic Ethics and Diaspora Communities: Upbuilding the Secular Theologically from Below 64

Part 2 Political Theology and the Radical Reformation

5 Anabaptists and Existential Theology 83

6 Eschatology and Ethics: Luther and the Radical Reformers 97

7 Why O'Donovan's Christendom Is Not Constantinian and Yoder's Voluntariety Is Not Hobbesian: A Debate in Theological Politics Redefined 109

8 The War of the Lamb: Postmodernity and Yoder's Eschatological Genealogy of Morals 130

9 Is a Messianic Political Ethic Possible? Yoder Critically Considered 144

Part 3 Messianism and Diaspora Ethics

10 Messianic Freedom and the Secular Academy: Educating the Affections in a Technological Culture 173

11 Gulag Ethics: Russian and Mennonite Prison Memoirs from Siberia (with Bruce Ward) 185

12 Mennonite and Métis: Adjacent Histories, Adjacent Truths? (with Carole Leclair) 199

13 Rich Mennonites in an Age of Mammon: Is a Messianic Political Economy Possible? 211

14 On the Difference between Torture and Punishment: Theology, Liturgy, and Human Rights 221

15 Technology as Principality: The Elimination of Incarnation 235

Bibliography 249

Index of Subjects 261

Index of Scripture References 267

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