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Political Visions & Illusions


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard J. Mouw
Preface to the Second Edition
1. Introduction: Ideology, Religion, and Idolatry
2. Liberalism: The Sovereignty of the Individual
3. Conservatism: History as Source of Norms
4. Nationalism: The Jealous God of Nation
5. Democracy or Democratism? When the People Claim Too Much
6. Socialism: Common Ownership as Redemptive
7. Transcending the Ideologies: Affirming Societal Pluriformity
8. Toward a Nonideological Alternative: Two Historic Christian Approaches
9. The State and Its Task: Doing Justice in God's World
Epilogue: Toward the Future
Concluding Ecclesiological Postscript
Discussion Questions
Selected Bibliography

About the Author

David T. Koyzis holds the PhD in government and international studies from the University of Notre Dame. He taught undergraduate political science for thirty years.


"David Koyzis introduces readers to the range of political theories that have emerged and competed for dominance since classical times. He carefully and respectfully separates wheat from chaff in each of them in terms of a Christian worldview, and in a style that is clear, irenic, and persuasive. The second edition helpfully updates the first in terms of major political events of the past two decades. In an increasingly polarized world, this kind of book is essential reading for concerned citizens of all political and religious leanings."--Mary S. Van Leeuwen, professor emerita of psychology and philosophy, Eastern University
"Few could have anticipated the major political upheavals witnessed since this book first came out in 2003. Yet Koyzis's book has stood the test of time, ranking, in my opinion, as the best introduction to modern political thought from a Christian perspective. This updated edition is welcome in its inclusion both of newer literature and fresh examples to recent political developments. As a politically engaged theologian, I'm especially thrilled to see the addition of the 'Concluding Ecclesiological Postscript' that could very well serve as kind of theo-political compass for church leaders wanting navigational guidance on how churches should--and should not--engage in political action."--David Guretzki, executive vice president and resident theologian, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
"The first edition of this excellent book showed in lively and erudite prose how biblical insights into idolatry illuminate our political life. This expanded edition increases its scope and delineates the newer challenges we face. It is indispensable reading."--Paul Marshall, Jerry and Susie Wilson Professor of Religious Freedom, Baylor University
"Politics involves the acquisition and use of power. It always has a moral dimension, always offers a chance to do good, and always carries the risk of idolatry. Updating his original work in this second edition, Koyzis has written a superb overview of modern politics, ideologies and the state, and their intersection with Christian faith. Rich in scholarship, perceptive and engaging in its analysis, and 'merely Christian' in its importance for all followers of Jesus Christ regardless of their tradition, it's an indispensable resource."--Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia

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