Academic journal article Journal of Markets & Morality

Wholly Citizens: God's Two Realms and Christian Engagement with the World

Academic journal article Journal of Markets & Morality

Wholly Citizens: God's Two Realms and Christian Engagement with the World

Article excerpt

Wholly Citizens: God's Two Realms and Christian Engagement with the World Joel Biermann Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017 (228 pages)

Theologian Joel Biermann has penned an accessible introduction to Christian social thought in the Lutheran tradition that follows on his previous work on virtue ethics, A Case for Character (Fortress, 2014). In Wholly Citizens Biermann first seeks to overthrow misreadings of Luther's two-kingdoms idea, arguing that Luther's two kingdoms (or realms) cannot be identified with American notions of church and state. Rather, Luther's duality of temporal and spiritual realms is comprehensive, excluding "simply nothing" (xxiii). In this Biermann is mediating a growing scholarly consensus to a lay readership. No book by a conservative Lutheran theologian would be complete without a few swipes at Calvinists, and in this Biermann does not disappoint. He clearly signals that he is "not among those cheering" (xx) about recent Calvinist appropriations of Luther's two kingdoms, and he briefly engages one such view, that of David VanDrunen (43-45). After clearing the ground. …

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