Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 14 items for

  • Author or Editor: Jonathan Chaplin x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All

Abstract

This essay presents a brief overview of selected insights deriving from reformational social and political philosophy, especially that of Herman Dooyeweerd, relevant to the study of international relations. Three clusters of potentially fruitful reformational concepts are identified. These relate to, first, the nature of the discipline of International Relations; second, the “structural purpose” of the state and other political entities; third, the plural, non-state actors of global civil society. It is proposed that distinctively reformational insights can offer illuminating orientations towards, or at least pose valuable research questions confronting, the development of a Christianly-informed IR theory today.

In: Christian Faith, Philosophy & International Relations
In: The Law of God

Abstract

This chapter offers an outline of a Christian political theology of ‘the people.’ Diagnosing what might be wrong with populism requires a prior, normative theological conception of the populus. Contemporary political theologies frequently invoke some notion of ‘the people,’ properly affirming its centrality to political theology, and rightly championing ‘the people’—especially ‘the poor’—against their economic oppressors, imperial overlords or cultured despisers. Yet they often proceed without adequately defining ‘the people,’ thereby blunting their capacity to yield precise analyses of the pathologies of contemporary populism. The chapter engages in a retrieval and critical deployment of enduring concepts of classical political theology to assist in that task. The central one is ‘the political community,’ from the specification of which a series of related concepts such as nation, common good, justice, equality, sovereignty, citizenship, representation, and participation find their proper meaning. The ensuing conceptual ensemble yields an understanding of ‘the people’ able to function as a critical benchmark against which to assess (mis)uses of the idea in populist movements.

In: The Spirit of Populism

The notion of societal structural principles is the foundation stone of Dooyeweerd’s social philosophy, and of the political and legal philosophy grounded in it, yet it has so far received little detailed critical analysis or constructive reformulation among reformational scholars. The aim of this paper is the modest one of illustrating the kind of analysis still to be done if the notion is to be put to more constructive use within social theory. I shall say little about the epistemological or methodological implications of the notion, concentrating on its central ontological problematics. I shall do so by discussing the notion with special reference to its specific application to one particular societal structure, namely the state. Part I analyses Dooyeweerd’s general account of the notion of societal structural principles. I identify there a number of critical problems running through the paper, especially: a) the problem of how structural principles secure the internal unity of a societal structure; b) the distinction between the invariant character of societal structural principles, and the variable forms in which they are positivised; and c) the undeveloped link between societal structures and the structure of the human person. Part II illustrates these problems (especially the second) in relation to Dooyeweerd’s account of the structural principle of the state. Part III briefly sketches the direction of a possible reformulation of the notion of societal structural principles in the light of a more fully elaborated philosophical anthropology.

In: Philosophia Reformata
In: The Law of God

Abstract

This essay presents a brief overview of selected insights deriving from reformational social and political philosophy, especially that of Herman Dooyeweerd, relevant to the study of international relations. Three clusters of potentially fruitful reformational concepts are identified. These relate to, first, the nature of the discipline of International Relations; second, the “structural purpose” of the state and other political entities; third, the plural, non-state actors of global civil society. It is proposed that distinctively reformational insights can offer illuminating orientations towards, or at least pose valuable research questions confronting, the development of a Christianly-informed IR theory today.

In: Christian Faith, Philosophy & International Relations

'Public justice’ is one of the most widely-invoked of the many distinctive terms coined by Herman Dooyeweerd but, strangely, one of the least well analysed. Dooyeewerd holds that that the identity of the state is defined by a single, integrating and directing norm, the establishment of ‘public justice’. Elaborating the implications of this claim has occupied much neo-Calvinist political reflection and guided much political action inspired by that movement. Yet surprisingly little sustained theoretical reflection has been devoted in recent times to examining its inner meaning and coherence. This article offers some preliminary groundwork necessary to that theoretical project. The first part presents a close reading of Dooyeweerd’s account of public justice, identifies ambiguities and inconsistencies in that account, and suggests a reconstruction displaying its wide-ranging dynamic thrust more prominently. The second part identifies two substantial challenges confronting this account: its relative neglect of processes of democratic deliberation and advocacy, and its underdeveloped critical potentials.

In: Philosophia Reformata
In: Philosophia Reformata

While the Charlie Hebdo attacks unleashed a highly distinctive national debate within France, that debate also serves to throw into sharp relief the deepening tensions generated by increasingly complex relationships between the state and religion across much of Europe, not least due to the arrival of immigrant minority faiths wishing to advance claims in what is widely assumed to be ‘secular’ public space. After reviewing these tensions, the article distinguishes five current European responses to them and proposes a model of ‘principled pluralism’ as a theologically defensible option. The original theological roots of such a model are outlined and six indicative contemporary practical implications proposed.

In: International Journal of Public Theology