For the 100th anniversary of the publication of Franz Rosenzweig’s The Star of Redemption, we thought it appropriate to reflect on the relevance of this difficult theo-political (and some would say, apolitical) text for our contemporary political moment. In the spirit of opening living, critical, and generative conversations, four authors wrestle with the Star while also wrestling with a wide range of pressing present issues from politics and policing to racial injustice, religious identity, and radical hope.
Contrasting the characters of William Faulkner’s great novel Absalom, Absalom! with King David exposes the way in which the unlovely can be redeemed, albeit not without suffering.
One of the great paradoxes of John Calvin’s political theology can be captured in terms of two of the phrases the reformer used over and over throughout his writings. On the one hand, he emphasized, “the kingdom of Christ is spiritual.” On the other hand, through the kingdom of Christ God is bringing about the “restoration of the world.”
First, I want to take social practices and norms as foundational. They do not come from anywhere else, not from people or institutions or God. It is practices and norms all the way down, as it were. Second, I want to present practices and norms as always in conflict. Norms are derived from practices, but they always misrepresent practices; practices are pulled towards norms.