Church, State and Public Justice: Five Views, Edited by P. C. Kemeny
Church, State and Public Justice
  • Length: 254 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: May 11, 2007
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2796
  • ISBN: 9780830827961

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Abortion. Physician-assisted suicide. Same-sex marriages. Embryonic stem-cell research. Poverty. Crime. What is a faithful Christian response?

The God of the Bible is unquestionably a God of justice. Yet Christians have had their differences as to how human government and the church should bring about a just social order. Although Christians share many deep and significant theological convictions, differences that threaten to divide them have often surrounded the matter of how the church collectively and Christians individually ought to engage the public square. What is the mission of the church? What is the purpose of human government? How ought they to be related to each other? How should social injustice be redressed?

The five noted contributors to this Spectrum volume answer these questions from within their distinctive Christian theological traditions, as well as responding to the other four positions. Through the presentations and ensuing dialogue we come to see more clearly what the differences are, where their positions overlap and why they diverge. The contributors and the positions taken include

  • Clarke E. Cochran: A Catholic Perspective
  • Derek H. Davis: A Classical Separation Perspective
  • Ronald J. Sider: An Anabaptist Perspective
  • Corwin F. Smidt: A Principled Pluralist Perspective
  • J. Philip Wogaman: A Social Justice Perspective

This book will be instructive for anyone seeking to grasp the major Christian alternatives and desiring to pursue a faithful corporate and individual response to the social issues that face us.

Spectrum Multiview Books offer a range of viewpoints on contested topics within Christianity, giving contributors the opportunity to present their position and also respond to others in this dynamic publishing format.

"Each contributor is well chosen and provides a concise and readable presentation, making the book an excellent introduction to the issues of church and state."

Darrell Cole for Journal of Church and State, Autumn 2007



Introduction by P. C. Kemeny

1. Life on the Border: A Catholic Perspective, by Clarke E. Cochran
2. The Classical Separation Perspective, by Derek H. Davis
3. The Principled Pluralist Perspective, by Corwin Smidt
4. The Anabaptist Perspective, by Ronald J. SIder
5. The Social Justice Perspective, by J. Philip Wogaman


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P. C. Kemeny

P. C. Kemeny (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary; Th.M., Duke University; M.Div., Westminster Seminary) is professor of religion and humanities at Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Princeton in the Nation's Service: Religious Ideals and Educational Practice, 1868-1928 (Oxford University Press).