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Course Description

This class will survey the ways that Christians have conceived of the relationship between the church and secular government. We will focus on texts that have profoundly shaped western political theory and practice for the past 2,000 years: the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures; Augustine; Aquinas; and Calvin. Other possible topics of study may include the history and role of canon law; private Christian mediation/arbitration; the role of Christian thought in perpetuating slavery and white supremacy in the United States; the racial reconciliation movement in South Africa; the tension between the call to forgiveness and the requirements of justice; Christian pacifism; and Christian critiques of Enlightenment-inspired "individual rights." Students will have the opportunity to satisfy the "capstone" writing requirements.

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