Calvinist resources for contemporary american political life: A critique of Michael Walzer's revolution of the saints
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Religious Ethics 37 (3):473-493 (2009)
Inheriting the religious prejudices of the Enlightenment, many supporters of liberal democracy consider John Calvin's theology contrary to the norms and virtues necessary for productive public discourse in a religiously and culturally diverse society. In Revolution of the Saints: A Study in the Origins of Radical Politics , Michael Walzer makes a similar assumption, arguing that, despite its contribution to political modernization, the inherent fideism, absolutism, and intolerance of Calvinism constitutes a threat to public discourse in liberal society. In this paper, I contend that the prevailing understanding of Calvin's theology is incorrect. In actuality he is a nuanced natural law thinker, whose complex understanding of human nature and the state encourages the subtle balance of virtues that contemporary political life requires
|Keywords||liberal democracy faith and politics Calvin natural law Calvinism political ethics American political life|
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