Ulrik Nissen addresses the difficulty that contemporary theology faces in trying to find a way to maintain both all the shared goods we cherish as political beings, and the call for Christians to be a particular people in the world and bear witness to Christ. Nissen stresses that Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christological ethics allows for a polemical unity between the reality of the world and the reality of God, reconciled in the reality of Christ.
Based on a series of case studies that provide a point of departure for a robust reshaping of Christian humanism and responsibility, Nissen reads Bonhoeffer’s ethics in the light of both his Lutheran heritage and contemporary challenges, highlighting the importance of his thought for political theology. By demonstrating the significant influence of Lutheran and Chalcedonian Christology in contemporary ethics, Nissen provides a robust argument for a love of the common reality we share as human beings, and a call for Christians to bear witness to Christ in the public world.
The book is especially valuable in helping acquaint an English readership with theological debates in the Nordic context, and in particular in Denmark. Anyone interested in debates over public reason, method in religious ethics, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther will benefit greatly from reading this book. * Studies in Christian Ethics * An excellent, concise, clear overview of Protestant social teaching in the last century. Written with erudition, it warns against understanding justification by faith individualistically, and affirms a Christologically shaped understanding of natural law. This is a compelling account of why and how Christian faith may still play an important public role. * Esther D. Reed, University of Exeter, UK * Ulrik Nissen's The Polity of Christ contributes to the renewal of Lutheran social ethics by building on the basis of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christology. In doing so, Nissen provides a theological foundation for understanding the nature and basis of Christian witness in a contemporary context, and he demonstrates how confessing Jesus Christ as Lord should simultaneously constitute the affirmation of, and taking responsibility for, a just and generous common life with others. * Luke Bretherton, Duke Divinity School, USA * This careful reading of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's work uses the scope of the Christological tradition of Chalcedon to develop a significant model for ethics, overcoming the incompatibility of universal validity and particular ethical identity. This book sets the stage for a unique universal Christological grammar, making it possible to communicate Christian ethics into a common world. * Hans G. Ulrich, University of Erlangen-Nurnberg, Germany *