A Londoner by birth, Luke Bretherton is Robert E. Cushman Distinguished Professor of Moral and Political Theology and Senior Fellow of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. Before joining Duke in 2012, he taught at King’s College London. His latest book is Christ and the Common Life: Political Theology and the Case for Democracy (2019).
This post focuses on a no less important but less visible cluster of questions about the relationship between ethics and politics, what helps or hinders the formation of persons capable of undertaking liberative projects with and for others, and how the quality and character of relations between persons (for example, virtues such as hope, courage, or hospitality) directly shape the conditions for the possibility of democracy.
A central feature of political theology is to expose the problematic ways in which modern political thought attempts to suspend or conceal religious and theological frameworks and, conversely, the ways in which religious and theological belief and practice is itself a mode of political and economic governance
Situated on this eschatological middle ground, political theology must reckon with how we live in a time when the kingdom of God is present, creating moments of transformation and rupture…To speak truthfully, political theology must also speak to the quotidian joys and everyday struggles that make up the ordinary time of our lives.