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|Other Titles: ||Institutional Linkages between Christianity & Democray|
Christianity;Democracy;New institutionalism;American history
|Issue Date: ||2007-04-18 18:25:25 (UTC+8)|
Do Christianity and democracy have a necessary causal relationship? Based on the analysis of American history of colonies and independence, the relationship between Christianity and democracy is not as close as many Christian scholars have argued. Nor are they totally unrelated, as other scholars have suggested. This paper concludes that in the process of their transplantation over American colonies, European Protestant theology and religious institutions underwent great transformation, i.e., localization. The continuous localization led to the establishment of a democratic theology and democratic religious institutions, which finally contributed to the American independence and the establishment of a democratic polity in the mid-1970s. The democratic theology of American colonies was not a meticulous academic theory by systematic designs. It was rather a pool of democratic theological arguments loosely coupled together. It included the arguments related to calling, contractual theory, theory of revolution, expanded conception of equality, criticism of monarchy and aristocracy, and the separation of church and state. Through the creative hermaneutics and selective interpretation of European liberal thoughts, colonial thinkers established this theology of democracy in order to provide religious legitimacy for the independence and democratic constitution. The democratic theology of the colonies was not a theory of the ivory tower, but a reflection of the real life of church life of the colonists. They developed and consolidated this democratic theology in church institutions. The major democratic church institutions included the freedom of conscience, the participation in church affairs by lay believers, and congregational system. With these democratic church institutions, the colonists had been accustomed to democratic life even before the democratic government was established. The democratic theology and democratic church institutions not only created the first democracy in the world, but also helped the democracy weather through many domestic and international turbulence.
|Data Type: ||report|
|Appears in Collections:||[政治學系] 國科會研究計畫|
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