Political Affections: Civic Participation and Moral Theology

Hardcover | January 18, 2013

byJoshua Hordern

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What is the nature of affections such as joy, compassion, sorrow, and shame and what role do they play in politics? While political experience is replete with affectivity, the affective dimension of political experience has typically been under-conceptualised in political theory. Joshua Hordern argues that Christian political theology and contemporary theory of emotions have resources to respond to this challengeand, in so doing, to offer diagnoses and remedies for the political alienation and democratic deficit which trouble contemporary political life. Hordern contends that affections have a cognitive aptitude whereby they become enduring features of shared political reasoning. In conversation with Martha Nussbaum, Jurgen Habermas, Roger Scruton, Oliver O'Donovan and other political thinkers both classical and contemporary, his argumentinterrelates affections with memory, moral order, death, suffering, virtue, neuroscience, familial life and national identity. In contrast to dualisms which would separate reason from affection and theology from politics, Hordern describes the way that affections' role in politics is shaped by theeschatological commitments of political thought. Through close attention to Deuteronomy, Luke and Acts, Hordern considers the role of affections in institutions of political representation, law and healthcare. Over against post-national visions which underplay locality in human identity, the account of political affectivity which emerges suggeststhat civic participation, critical patriotic loyalties, social trust and international concern will be primarily galvanised by the renewal of local affections through effective political representation. Moreover, churches, shaped by the affective vision of their Scriptures, are to embody the joyful,hopeful affective life of the Kingdom of God and thereby offer renewal to social and political experience at local, national and international levels.

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What is the nature of affections such as joy, compassion, sorrow, and shame and what role do they play in politics? While political experience is replete with affectivity, the affective dimension of political experience has typically been under-conceptualised in political theory. Joshua Hordern argues that Christian political theology ...

Dr Joshua Hordern is a University Lecturer in Christian Ethics at the University of Oxford, Harris Manchester College.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:January 18, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199646813

ISBN - 13:9780199646814

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Politics and EmotionsI. Emotion and religion in contemporary politicsII. The cognitivist turn in theories of emotionIII. Compassion as paradigm: Martha Nussbaum's approachConclusion2. AffectionsI. Affections as the participative beginnings of understandingII. Enduring affectionsIII. Affections and the endConclusion3. Affections and Political InstitutionsI. Martha Nussbaum's political eschatologyII. Political affections in Deuteronomy, Luke and ActsIII. Representation, loyalty and lawIV. Compassion and shame revisitedConclusion: Joy and awe4. Affections and LocalityI. Constitutional patriotismII. Local affectionsIII. Constitutional patriotism revisitedConclusion5. Renewing Political AffectionsI. Transmission, trust and transpositionII. Faith in God as the source of joyful praiseIII. Joyful praise as the beginning of political ethicsIV. Sharing in joyful praise of the crucified and risen ChristV. Preserving trustConclusion: The return to praiseEpilogue: The Joy of All the Earth