Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Politics Reformed: The Anglo-American Legacy of Covenant Theology

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

Politics Reformed: The Anglo-American Legacy of Covenant Theology

Article excerpt

Politics Reformed: The Anglo-American Legacy of Covenant Theology. By Glenn A. Moots. (Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 2010, Pp. 240. $44.95.)

Glenn Moots has written an impressive study on the impact of covenant theology on British and American politics during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. This is not the sort of book on which to spend a relaxing evening with feet up in front of the fireplace. For those who enter its pages seriously the rewards are great.

Early on Moots set forth his "hope to revive an understanding of theological roots here, perhaps in a way sensitive to modern sensibilities" (3). This relatively modest statement is followed by the qualification: "But whether or not political theologies can be made sensitive to modern sensibilities cannot deter one from studying the historical record and making contemporary applications where one can" (4). He then establishes his arguments by grounding them solidly in the written revelation of God and in natural law. Western Civilization, he argues, has moved off this foundation, sliding away from its Christian roots. In the place of this foundation are secularism and civil religion, or the subordination of religion to civil or political ends. These developments, Moots argues, have left the West with an identity crisis and consequent difficulty in finding a basis for maintaining its political convictions. Countering this drift, Moots' book articulates some basic principles. …

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