Educating Christians for political involvement : an examination of Augustinian, liberation and confessing church approaches
This thesis examines the role of the churches in educating their congregations for political involvement. It does this by examining three aspects of the political thought of three theologians, Augustine, Gustavo Gutierrez and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The first aspect is eschatology, on the grounds that thought on the eschaton influences thought on how to react to the present. The second is ecclesiology, with particular reference to how the theologian expects the church to relate to the civil society in which the church is located. The third is the 'prepolitical' education, or the education of the ordinary Christian for political involvement, in that civil society. The thesis concludes by stating that there is no formula, or curriculum, for prepolitical education, but there is a 'summary grammar' expressed in the form of three inter-related tensions on which all prepolitical education must rest if it is to be a properly Christian prepolitical education. The first tension concerns the 'now' and the 'not yet’ nature of the coming of God's kingdom; the second relates to the idea that that the church should be in the world but not of it; and the third is based on how the church relates to the world in a prophetic and an embodied manner.