From food banks to migrant welcome committees, and community organisers to internet based campaigners, civil society is central to the North Atlantic social landscape. Theology and Civil Society advances our understanding of what civil society is and offers a theologically informed re-imagining of our shared social life.
Prefaced by a foreword by the Rev. Dr Rowan Williams, this book explores contemporary manifestations of the kind of collective action observed in civil society since the 1800s. It then examines civil society as the sum of modern associations which mediate our relationships to the market and the state, but which cannot be identified fully with either the market or the state. Finally, three different perspectives on civil society are presented using insights from theologians such as John Milbank and Georg Hegel.
This is a pertinent topic for contemporary society, and it is explored expertly here by an international panel of contributors. As such, it is an important volume for any scholar of Theology and Religious Studies and their interactions with Sociology and Politics.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Rowan Williams; Introduction, Charles Pemberton; Part One: Civil Society as a Sphere of Association; 1 Faith in Action: Lessons from Citizens UK’s Work in East London, Jane Wills; 2 Perspectives of Change – Faith Based Organisations and Climate Change Action, Anna Huxley; 3 When Political Theology takes an Ecclesial Turn, Who is Left Out in the Cold? Revisiting Manchester’s Oxford Road with Graham Ward, Al Barrett; Part Two: Civil Society as a Sphere of Mediation; 4 Politics in the Cyber-City, Michael Raubach; 5 Foundation, but Foundation Only: Considerations Regarding Hegel’s Account of Religion, the Modern State and Civil Society, Friedrike Schick; 6 Theology and Exclusion: From Charity to Advocacy to Deep Solidarity, Joerg Rieger; Part Three: Theo-political Re-imaginings of Civil Society; 7 Liberalism and the Pre-Modern: A Theological Appreciation of the Politics of Jo Grimond, Ben Wood; 8 'With the Pertinacity of Bloodhounds’: Hegelian Comments on an Old Text of Fr. Daniel Berrigan's, Andrew Shanks; 9 Embedding State and Market Institutions in Civil Society: Faith, Fraternity and the Building of an Ethical Economy, Adrian Pabst; Conclusion, Charles Pemberton
Charles Pemberton is the William Leech Research Fellow at the department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, UK. He is currently researching Britain’s Food Bank network. He completed a PhD at the University of Manchester in 2016 on charity, homelessness and the doctrine of creation.