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Caesar's Coin Revisited: Christians And The Limits Of Government

by Michael Cromartie

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From Publishers Weekly
These papers from a conference on the obligation of the Christian citizen to the state explore a variety of responses to Jesus' injunction to "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's." For example, University of Chicago professor of ethics Jean Bethke Elshtain examines the question of the emperor's sovereignty and the state's power through a reading of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's reaction to Hilter's state. The Cato Institute's Doug Bandow argues for the necessity of a limited government. Each chapter contains responses from all the conference participants with the end result being that Caesar's Coin constructs a meaningful dialogue among thinkers at all points along theological and politicalcontinuums.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

A conference sponsored by the Evangelical Studies Project of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in May_ 1995 was the basis of this collection, which consists of four essays presented at the conference, a formal response to each essay, and transcripts of discussion that followed each presentation. The first essay, by Luis E. Lugo, attends specifically to the "coin" of the title, examining Mark 12:13^-17 as the locus classicus of Jesus' teaching on the state. The remaining essays--by Jean Bethke Elshtain, Kenneth L. Grasso, and Doug Bandow, respectively--are less directly concerned with that biblical passage than with developing Christian theories of the state in a post^-cold war world. Readers may be hard-pressed to identify the diversity promised in the preface, but they will encounter a generally thoughtful discussion of the role of the state in our modern world that also reveals the widespread influence of Roman Catholic social teaching on theologically informed discussion of politics in the late twentieth century. Steve Schroeder



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