Political Theology 12.5 (2011) is a special issue entitled ‘Ten Years After 9/11’, in which twenty-two contributors from across the religious spectrum take stock of the events of September 11, 2001 and their aftermath. Perspectives are offered from theologians, specialists in the study of religion, historians, philosophers, ethicists, anthropologists and political scientists. A number of the contributors are active in the area of interreligious dialogue and interfaith relations. Some are grassroots activists.
This essay is part of a collection of papers on William E. Connolly’s ‘Capitalism and Christianity, American Style’ published in Political Theology 12.2.
The American theologian H. Richard Niebuhr began his prescient, perhaps timeless, essay on the Sino-Japanese War – “It may be that the greatest moral problems of the individual or of a society arise when there is nothing to be done.” In the face of a colonial conflict in Asia, and calls for U.S. intervention, Niebuhr urged an active inactivity.
As we in the West celebrate their accomplishments and support their efforts, it is important to temper our expectations and widen our conception of responsible government. The heritage of most Christian reflection on politics has been relatively pragmatic concerning acceptable and appropriate social arrangements.
By Andy Flannagan
Our attitude to the planet and its structures, as economics and ecology mix inextricably, are formed by whether our mindset is one of moving on to the next place, or one of renovation. Our God is a God intent on renovation. He has a plan for this place and it is good. This place IS the next place. It will be transformed. And incredibly we are called to be part of demonstrating what this next place will be like right now, which surely involves change within and through political structures.