From the Sacristy to the Public Square The Public Character of Theology

In: International Journal of Public Theology
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  • 1 Faculdade Unida Vitória, Brazil


This article is a study of the public role of Christian theology in contemporary democratic societies. It focuses on the role of theologians as intellectuals in the public square, as defenders of values like justice, democracy and peace. After a brief reflection on Brazilian experiences of the presence of Christians in public debates, it discusses the role of intellectuals such as Habermas, Bourdieu, Said, Bauman and others.

  • 7)

    Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson, ‘Deliberative Democracy Beyond Process’, Journal of Political Philosophy, 10:2 (2002), 153–74 at 154.

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  • 9)

    See Rudolf von Sinner, ‘Brazil: From Liberation Theology to a Theology of Citizenship as Public Theology’, International Journal of Public Theology, 1:3–4 (2007), 338–63.

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  • 15)

    Bourdieu, The Rules of Art, pp. 129–30 (original italics).

  • 17)

    Bauman, Legislators and Interpreters, pp. 4–5.

  • 18)

    Ibid., p. 5.

  • 21)

    Gordon D. Kaufman, In Face of Mystery: A constructive theology (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 31.

  • 22)

    Misztal, citing Perrin, Intellectuals and the Public Good, p. 33.

  • 25)

    Richard Rorty, Truth and Progress: Philosophical Papers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 289.

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