Assessments of the state and civil society in contemporary political theology diverge over the issue of freedom and discipline. Are the state and civil society agents of freedom that Christianity should serve with its values and critical vision? Or are the state and civil society disciplinary formations that have eclipsed the true public and political mission of the church? In the final analysis, the issue is one of theological judgments concerning ecclesiology, eschatology, and soteriology that can be summed up in the question, "What is the proper political correlate of the Christian mythos?" Leviathan or the Body of Christ?


1 The designation "emergent" implies no prophecy about the tradition's future status as dominant, incorporated, etc.


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Politics 9: 403-22. Metz, J. B. (1980). Faith in History and Society. New York: Seabury. Metz, J. B. (1981). The Emergent Church. London: SCM.

Metz, J. B., and Moltmann, J. (1995). Faith and the Future. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis. Milbank, J. (1990). Theology and Social Theory. Oxford: Blackwell. Moltmann, J. (1999). God for a Secular Society. Minneapolis: Fortress. Neuhaus, R. J. (1987). The Catholic Moment. San Francisco: Harper & Row. O'Donovan, O. (1996). The Desire of the Nations. New York: Cambridge University Press. Sobrino, J. (1984). The True Church and the Poor. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis.

Stackhouse, M. (1984). Creeds, Society, and Human Rights. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.

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