This thesis argues that the state is neither sacred nor profane, but if accepted as mundane, it is something that can be freely engaged with by the church as part of its overall witness to politics and society. In order to outline and assess the political theology of Milbank and Cavanaugh three biblical and doctrinal lenses – creation, preservation and redemption – are used to judge their work.
When Richard Hays published The Faith of Jesus Christ in 1983 it sent a ripple through the New Testament community that still may be felt today. Its re-publication in a more accessible form for Eerdmans in 2002 signaled that his book had real staying power. This new volume is not a rewrite of his original work but its presentation again, accompanied by a winning foreword by Luke Timothy Johnson and a reflective introduction by the author himself about the theological implications of his thesis. It also includes two appendixes, one by James D. G. Dunn and Hays’s response to Dunn that represent part of the debate in the Society of Biblical Literature of the Pauline Theology Group from 1991 over the question of “the faith of Jesus Christ.”
Richard Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006) makes a persuasive argument that the Gospels display eyewitness testimony and thus renews the quest for the identity of the Beloved Disciple as the author of the Fourth Gospel. While Bauckham attributes this Gospel to “the presbyter John” mentioned by Papias, the authors of this study show that the patristic evidence more likely seems to support the authorship of John the apostle and that the literary device of inclusio in the Fourth Gospel, astutely observed by Bauckham, also favors the authorship of John the son of Zebedee.
Two recent monographs re-examine the central elements of the just war tradition and its contemporary applications. David Rodin’s War and Self-Defense analyzes, and rejects, the common doctrine that just war is an instance of national self-defense, in parallel with the right of individuals to protect themselves against violent attack. This derivation fails, and it cannot justify resort to war. In contrast, Oliver O’Donovan’s The Just War Revisited dismisses the notion that there are rules for just war and calls instead for careful and deliberate practical reasoning in particular contexts. Indeed, there can be no just wars, only specific acts that pass the
tests of theological, historical, and practical scrutiny.