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Title: Through the device of the Military Covenant : a comparison of the ideas of John Rawls & Germain Grisez
Author: Butler, Colin
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2016
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it is the aim of this thesis to demonstrate that the concept of the covenant, as a traditional theological idea, has practical utility in public discourse in the UK. This is done with reference to the secular humanist outlook of John Rawls. It is concluded that such an outlook that sees no role for Christianity in the public realm of political and social policy, does not of itself contain sufficient conceptual resources to furnish the world as fully as an approach that is inclusive of a religious dimension. That such a non-sectarian approach is possible is indicated by the use of New Natural Law, associated with Germain Grisez. The Military Covenant is used as the vehicle to enable this project. The end of the Cold war led to a re-examination of the relationship between the people of the United Kingdom and the British army. After a lengthy and difficult process the connection was summarised by the Military Covenant. This bound together the nation, the state and the army in a solemn manner. However what is a covenant? In an increasingly secular society such concepts that have a theological root are little understood. This is to the impoverishment of national life. The rise of secular liberalism is examined through John Rawls’ Theory of Justice. This is presented as a significant text in understanding this change. Rawls’ misplaced reliance on the rationality of human nature means that secular liberalism is inadequate as a comprehensive model for public policy. In the light of the emergence of the covenant-idea as a robust example of Christian theology, a means of its accommodation is found in New Natural Law. Grisez and his colleagues propose a scheme of thought is based upon the general aspiration people have to live purposeful lives. The Military Covenant is found to find its home in this approach. The legitimate place of Christianity in British society is affirmed as a means to promoting the common good.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BL Religion ; BR Christianity ; BT Doctrinal Theology