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Monday, November 14, 2005

What is Politics?

According to the Collins English Dictionary, 3rd Edition, politics is the practice or study of the art and science of forming, directing, and administrating states and other political units; the art and science of government; political science; any activity concerned with the acquisition of power, gaining one's own ends. (My emphasis).

Politics may refer to leadership or to the business of controlling or governing. It can be about self-fulfilment and selfishness; in other words my rights over another persons’ rights. What is the difference between good leadership and despotism? The human political sphere, important as it is, is rarely, if ever, all-embracing. It is distorted by self-fulfilling politics, it discriminates, marginalises and disfigures. The Church has been associated with this disfigurement and discrimination frequently.

Jűrgen Moltmann has argued that ‘"monotheistic monarchianism" …has provided a theological justification for structures of domination and subordination in the familial, political, and ecclesial realms of human existence.’ God understood as primarily King has distorted human understanding of how government is to be formed. God understood in this way is above us, the monarch, laying down the law. Too often this is still the case today. Do you agree with Moltmann? How do you think the church can get away from this monotheistic monarchianism? Or can it?

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