A Royal Priesthood? The Use of the Bible Ethically and Politically. A Dialogue with Oliver O'Donovan

Volume 3

Edited by Craig Bartholomew, Jonathan Chaplin, Robert Song and Al Wolters
Published by Paternoster Press and Zondervan

ISBN: 1-84227-067-2'

There can be no doubt that Oliver O'Donovan's The Desire of the Nations is one of the most considerable pieces of Christian moral theology of the last half century, already proving itself a focus of wide and intensive debate. Not the least aspect of its significance is the attentiveness of its biblical exegesis. The responses in this volume, with O'Donovan's patient and measured replies, not only take the discussion to a new level of seriousness, but exhibit the kind of scrupulous care, charity and commitment to truth which ought to characterise all theological debate. Studied alongside The Desire of the Nations, this is a collection to which scholars in theology, ethics, biblical studies and political theory will return time and again with profit.'

Professor John Webster, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford

'I found this collection of essays on O'Donovan's The Desire of the Nations both extraordinarily illuminating and a model of intellectual engagement. The critics engage O'Donovan respectfully but firmly; they focus on the important issues, and dig deep. And O'Donovan responds to each essay incisively and winsomely. I learned a great deal, and will be returning to learn more. Unlike most other collections, the whole is a great deal more than the sum of the parts. First-rate!'

Professor Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale University

'I have no hesitation in commending these essays, and especially Professor Oliver O'Donovan's dialogue with them, most warmly and without reserve. It would be difficult to exaggerate their creativity, importance, and timeliness. The project of exploring biblical interpretation in relation to ethics and political theology by means of a focussed dialogue with O'Donovan's writings is inspired, and eminently successful.

The essays reflect the thinking of seventeen distinguished scholars who bring together hermeneutics, Christian theology, history of ideas, ethics, and political theology with rigour and relevance. O'Donovan's responses are incisive, judicious, informative, elegant, and, in short, masterly. This volume may well signal a constructive agenda for biblical interpretation over the next ten years. I cannot speak too highly of it.'

Professor Canon Anthony C. Thiselton, Emeritus Professor of Christian Theology in Residence, University of Nottingham, and Canon Theologian of Leicester Cathedral and Southwell Minster

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    Craig G. Bartholomew
  • The Use of Scripture in The Desire of the Nations
    R.W.L. Moberly
  • Response to Walter Moberly
    Oliver O’Donovan
  • Law and Monarchy in the Old Testament
    J.G. McConville
  • Response to Gordon McConville
    Oliver O’Donovan
  • A Time for War and a Time for Peace: Old Testament Wisdom, Creation and O’Donovan’s Theological Ethics
    Craig Bartholomew
  • Response to Craig Bartholomew
    Oliver O’Donovan
  • The Power of the Future in the Present: Eschatology and Ethics in O’Donovan and Beyond
    M. Daniel Carroll R.
  • Response to Daniel Carroll
    Oliver O’Donovan
  • Power, Judgement and Possession: John’s Gospel in Political Perspective
    Andrew T. Lincoln
  • Response to Andrew Lincoln
    Oliver O’Donovan
  • Paul and Caesar: A New Reading of Romans
    N.T. Wright
  • Response to N.T. Wright
    Oliver O’Donovan
  • ‘Members of One Another’: Charis, Ministry and Representation: A Politico-Ecclesial Reading of Romans 12
    Bernd Wannenwetsch
  • Response to Bernd Wannenwetsch
    Oliver O’Donovan
  • The Function of Romans 13 in Christian Ethics
    Gerrit de Kruijf
  • Response to Gerrit de Kruijf
    Oliver O’Donovan
  • The Apocalypse and Political Theology
    Christopher Rowland
  • Response to Christopher Rowland
    Oliver O’Donovan
  • Ethics and Exegesis: A Great Gulf?
    Gilbert Meilaender
  • Political Eschatology and Responsible Government: Oliver O’Donovan’s ‘Christian Liberalism’
    Jonathan Chaplin
  • Response to Jonathan Chaplin
    Oliver O’Donovan
  • Revisiting Christendom: A Crisis of Legitimization
    Colin Greene
  • Response to Colin Greene
    Oliver O’Donovan
  • ‘Return to the Vomit of “Legitimation”’?: Scriptural Interpretation and the Authority of the Poor
    Peter Scott
  • Response to Peter Scott
    Oliver O’Donovan
  • A Timely Conversation with Desire of the Nations on Civil Society, Nation and State
    Joan Lockwood O’Donovan
  • Acting Politically in Biblical Obedience?
    James W. Skillen
  • Response to James W. Skillen
    Oliver O’Donovan