Political Visions and Illusions A Survey and Christian Critique of Contemporary Ideologies

ISBN-10: 0830827269

ISBN-13: 9780830827268

Edition: 2003

Authors: David T. Koyzis

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Named Best Book (Culture) in the 2004 Word Guild Canadian Writing Awards!The end of the Cold War has brought about more than the triumph of some political ideologies and the disappearance of others. In fact, the collapse of communism has created a vacuum quickly being filled by various alternative visions, ranging from ethnic nationalism to individualistic liberalism.But political ideologies are not merely a matter of governmental efficacy. Rather, political ideologies are intrinsically and inescapably religious--each carries certain assumptions about the nature of reality, individuals and society, as well as a particular vision for the common good. These fundamental beliefs transcend the political sphere, and the astute Christian observer should thus discern the subtle ways in which ideologies are rooted in idolatrous worldviews.In this comprehensive study, political scientist David Koyzis surveys the key political ideologies of our era, including liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, democracy and socialism. Each philosophy is given careful analysis and fair critique, unpacking the worldview issues inherent to each and pointing out essential strengths and weaknesses. Koyzis concludes by proposing alternative models that flow out of Christianity's historic engagement with the public square, retrieving approaches that hold promise for the complex political realities of the twenty-first century.Writing with broad, international perspective and keen analytical insight, Koyzis offers a sound guide for Christians working in the public square, culture watchers, political pundits and all students of modern political thought.
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Book details

List price: $27.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication date: 6/16/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 281
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.210
Language: English

Koyzis (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame) is professor of political science at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario.

Ideology, Religion and Idolatry
Politics and Ideas
History and Definitions
Ideology in Christian Perspective
Preconditions for the Rise of Ideologies
Ideology as Religious: Toward a Definition
The Classification of Ideologies: Left and Right
Discerning the Spirits in the Ideologies
Liberalism: The Sovereignty of the Individual
The Meanings of Liberalism
The Liberal Creed
Late Liberalism and the Expansion of the State
The Right and the Good: Subsidizing Choices
The Spiritually Vacant State: The Privatization of Ultimate Belief
Sin and Salvation in Liberalism
Conservatism: History as Source of Norms
Babies and Bathwater: The Conservative Creed
The Grass Is Greener on Our Side
Which Traditions and When?
Conservatism and Christianity
Conservatism and the State
Nationalism: The Nation Deified
A Creed for a Century
Civic and Ethnic Nationalisms: State Versus Tribe
The Nationalist View of the State
Patriotic Loyalty: A Modest Devotion
Christians and Nationalism
Democracy: Vox Populi Vox Dei
Structure and Creed
From Liberalism to Democracy
The Majoritarian and Totalitarian Temptations
Democratization Without Limits
Creed and Structure Revisited: Direct Versus Representative Democracy
Representation: Followership or Leadership?
Democracy and Justice: A Final Assessment
Socialism: Common Ownership as Salvific
A World of Socialisms
A Transformative Vision
From Democracy to Socialism
Common Ownership and Socialist Ideology
Means and Ends: Equality and How to Get There
The Marxian Vision and Marxism
Fair Distribution of Economic Resources
Transcending the Ideologies: Affirming Societal Pluriformity
A Biblical Christian Response
A Christian Worldview: Creation, Fall and Redemption
Creation Order: Misconceptions Dispelled
Discerning the Spirits: Pluralisms and Pluriformity
Toward a Nonideological Alternative: Two Historic Christian Approaches
The Role of Catholic Social Teachings
The Principle of Subsidiarity: Affirming Civil Society
The Reformation: Calvin and Althusius
Developments in the Netherlands: Groen and Kuyper
Sovereignty in Its Own Sphere: A Nonhierarchical Affirmation of Civil Society
Dooyeweerd's Contribution
The State and Its Task: Doing Justice in God's World
Justice and Differentiated Responsibility
Justice and the State
Epilogue: Toward the Future
Selected Bibliography
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