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The Family in Christian Social and Political Thought$
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Brent Waters

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199271962

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199271962.001.0001

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The Family, the Church, and Civil Ordering

The Family, the Church, and Civil Ordering

(p.252) 8 The Family, the Church, and Civil Ordering
The Family in Christian Social and Political Thought


Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how the tension between the providential witness of the family and the eschatological witness of the church, as examined in the preceding chapter, should inform a Christian vision of civil community. It is argued that both the family and the church disclose the principal normative characteristics of the social and political ordering of a vindicated creation, namely, that the bonds of human association as well as the foundation of freedom are created, natural, imposed, social, and political. The implications of these characteristics are further developed by focusing on the themes of the gift of social ordering, the relation between destiny and the common good, and, following Oliver O'Donovan, what the nations (should) desire.

Keywords:   civil community, creation, ecclesiology, eschatology, family, freedom, Oliver O'Donovan, political ordering, social ordering

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