Duke Divinity School will hold a book launch and special lecture/discussion on Christ and the Common Life: Political Theology and the Case for Democracy, a new book by Professor Luke Bretherton, professor of theological ethics at the school and senior fellow of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. Research for this book and the event have been sponsored by the Issachar Fund.
The event will feature Miroslav Volf, Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale University and founding director of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, giving the keynote lecture in response to the book and a panel discussion. In addition to Bretherton, panelists will be: Melissa Snarr, associate professor of ethics and society at Vanderbilt Divinity School; and from Duke Divinity School, Patrick Smith, associate research professor of theological ethics and bioethics and senior fellow at the Kenan Institute, and Dean L. Gregory Jones, Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Distinguished Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry.
At a time when many in churches think democracy is either unable to address systemic issues such as climate change or are joining authoritarian movements, this event examines why democracy is a key way Christians should understand the command to love their neighbor and explores why democratic politics is a vital way to faithfully struggle for justice. Rather than voting, party politics, or freedom of speech, speakers and panelists will reflect on how democracy lives or dies by the quality and character of the relationships that make it possible. Focused on Bretherton’s new book, the discussion will touch on many issues of central concern to contemporary Christians, particularly around inequality, diversity, racism, the environment, and the relationship between ethics and politics.
The introduction and lecture will be held from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. and the panel discussion from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., followed by a reception and book signing. The event, which is open to the public and requires no registration, will be webcast live.
Published in May by Eerdmans Publishing Co., the book is a guide to the historical and contemporary relationship between Christianity and politics, while making a compelling case for why Christians should be committed to democracy.
See a video of Professor Luke Bretherton discussing his new book.