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Thinking theologically about church and state

Barrett, Lois
June 4, 2015

Source: (1996) Paper presented at the 4th Annual Restorative Justice Conference, held at the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies, Fresno Pacific College, Fresno, California, 25 October.

Lois Barrett begins this presentation by identifying certain models for dealing with the relationship between church and state. These include, for example, the model of “separation of church and state,â€? a common approach in Canada and the United States. There are also five models developed by H. Richard Niebuhr in his book Christ and Culture. In response to all of this, Barrett proposes a different set of four models for the interaction between church and state in the North American context. She does this by looking at how most people in North America view the church and by describing what she considers to be a more biblical way of understanding the church. This leads then to her reflections on the church’s relationship to the state.


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