Politics and Christianity

Discovering why parishioners of unity do not engage in social activism

Author
Michael W Walker
Abstract
The purpose of my project was to discover why parishioners do not engage in social justice activism at the Unity Church in Unity Village, Missouri. A five point Likert scale questionnaire with fifteen questions was distributed to twenty two participants. The major findings were that Unity parishioners were not involved in social justice activism because activism issues are too divisive, bring politics into the church, other things are more important, and activism issues are not in the Bible.

Politics and the expository sermon: addressing issues while preaching biblically and ethically

Author
Bridget Erickson
Abstract
This thesis-project is designed to determine how ministers can address within their sermons civil and political issues while remaining biblical and ethical in their delivery. Because of the tension that exists between religion and government preachers find it necessary to comment on political issues which affect their congregations. These issues can include things like the actions of a local school board, the enactment of federal laws, and world and international events. This thesis realizes that ministers have great latitude in deciding upon the content of their sermons. Legislative and judicial prohibitions on sermon content are relatively minimal in the United States. However, to preach political sermons in a way that glorifies God and edifies the believer demands prayerful and thoughtful preparation. This project emphasizes that a proper homiletical theology, a solid scriptural foundation, a commitment to Big Idea Preaching, and a thorough exegesis of the local congregation and the larger culture are the ingredients for preaching sermons biblically and ethically.

The subversive sage: Qoheleth and the praxis of resistance

Author
Ralph C Griffin
Abstract
This thesis argues for a politically and socially subversive reading of Ecclesiastes. Eating, drinking, and enjoyment represent communal practices that counteract the social fragmentation of living under hegemonic bureaucracy. Central to this argument is a fresh understanding of Qoheleth that is developed out of the sage's own socio-historical context as illustrated by his use of bureaucratically and economically evocative language. Qoheleth's commendations function to re-orient the reader toward simple practices that contrast imperial values. Using rhetorical-critical and literary-critical approaches, especially the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, this thesis constructs a politically subversive lens by which to interpret Ecclesiastes.

Clergy political engagement in Zambia

Author
Paul Bupe
Abstract
This research demonstrates that the locus of sin in in people's hearts rather than political systems. It is good people who can change politics from "dirty" to cleanliness. The argument favors clergy involvement in politics. Zambia's declaration as a Christian Nation augments the claim. The call for "separation of Church and state" is an ideology that cannot take effect in Zambia because people there are prominently religious. It is practically impossible to separate the two. What the clergy need are clear instructions on how to engage in politics, thus the development of this resource.

A political theology for preaching

Author
Jeffrey W Hutchison
Abstract
This dissertation argued that one must base a political theology for preaching on an understanding of God's ordering of creation, the effect of the fall, and the restoration of redemption, and on a comprehension of God's sovereignty over every sphere of creation. It began with the insights of historians of American evangelical engagement with politics. In discussing creation, fall, and redemption, this dissertation exposited scripture and engaged in dialogue primarily with the neo-Calvinist writings of Abraham Kuyper and his followers. In the final chapter, this dissertation provided implication for preaching about politics.

A congregation's motivation behind voting as it relates to their moral oblication and community involvement

Author
Gregory H Herndon
Abstract
The project purpose was to determine the value a congregation placed on political voting and whether it impacted their sense of moral responsibility and community participation. The project span was from May 2006 - December 2006. The methodology included survey questions, interviews and a memoir. The findings revealed that the participants recognized a theological significance in voting. The voter mobilization effort influenced the participants' passion for the community embracing a better quality of life through the power of the vote. The conclusion was that the parishioners view voting as a moral obligation and an effective tool for community transformation.

If it had not been for the Lord on my side: a model on how to develop church properties in your community

Author
Larzell Mark Hensley
Abstract
This project assesses the role of the 165 year-old Second Baptist Church of Columbus, Ohio, in politics, education, and religion. It assesses its readiness for neighborhood revitalization, providing guidance for church and community in working together, leveraging federal and state dollars for the common good. It analyzes organizational processes and provides tools for relating to powerbrokers in the community. Historical, biblical, and theological perspectives are interwoven in exploring the complex task of church development. This economic resource model is useful for empowering the inner-city African American church through utilizing public assets and influencing political and social institutions.

Canonical criticism as a tool for enhancing preaching in the Korean church

Author
Woonjoo Baek
Abstract
This project proposes that canonical criticism could become an effective tool to assess and enhance Korean preaching. Against the background of the historic interrelationship between preaching and politics in Korea and the current practice of four influential Korean preachers, the project identifies problems in Korean preaching to which the corrective of canonical criticism can be applied.

The role of Black theology in developing political education in African American congregations

Author
Dale L Shaw
Abstract
The methodology of this research first examines biographical data of three noted political, civic ministerial leaders: the Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr; the Rev Dr Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr; and the Rev Congressman Floyd H Flake. This biographical data establishes the need for political education to be taught in African American congregations, now and in the future. The conclusion reached in this study is that political education and human justice issues are a mandate from God. Action must emerge from the "talented tenth" or we as a people continue to perish.

Crisis in religious advocacy

Author
Arthur B Keys
Abstract
The crisis in mainline religious advocacy in 1992 is described by laying out dangers of radical religious pluralism posed by divisions wtihin religious denominations and larger society. This project explores new possibilities these divisions demand and argues religious advocacy must regain vision and language of the common good if it is to be sustained and wield constructive influence in American politics. Empirical analysis focuses on formation in 1990 of a new religious advocacy organization, Interfaith Impact for Justice and Peace, and examines larger trends and forces that undermined advocacy models developed in the religious community in 1960s and 1970s.
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