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Theology and Political Action: Reading Luther, Bonhoeffer, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Geometric art

3 Credits

SOC 723/THE 723

Theological questions concerning the role of church and state, Christian ethics and public policy, and the intersection of Christian spirituality and civic values are perennial questions that every generation within their own social, cultural, and political context needs to address. This course examines Martin Luther's theology of the cross as a framework for addressing his two kingdoms paradigm and subsequent understanding of the boundaries of temporal authority and church. Luther's construct is instrumental in the development of Bonhoeffer's Christology, his insistence on solidarity with the oppressed, and his resistance to social and political evil. Martin Luther King, Jr. was deeply influenced by both Luther and Bonhoeffer and further developed concepts that include strategies of active nonviolent resistance, the beloved community, and Christian reconciliation. These themes related to the role of church and state will be explored with an emphasis on application for the 21st-century church. This course is cross-listed as THE 723NE.