In this companion volume to Deity and Domination, David Nicholls broadens his examination of the relationship between religion and politics. Focusing on the images and concepts of God and the state predominant in eighteenth-century discourse, he shows how these were interrelated and reflect the language of the wider cultural contexts.
Nicholls argues that the way a community pictures God will inevitably reflect (and also affect) its general understanding of authority, whether it be in state, in family or in other social institutions. Much language about God, for example, has a primarily political reference: in psalms, hymns and sermons God is called king, judge, lord, ruler and to him are ascribed might, majesty, dominion, power and sovereignty. But if political rhetoric is frequently incorporated into religious discourse, the reverse is also true: many key concepts of modern political theory are secularised theological concepts. In his consideration of this important and neglected relationship Nicholls sheds new light on religion and politics in the eighteenth century.
`… surveys the eighteenth century with an impressive array of equal expertise both in the political and theological debates of the time. The book certainly has much to offer specialists in the period. .. This is an important and timely book.' - Henry D Rack, The Expository Times
`…a splendid achievement' - - Frances Knight, Theology
'This is a valuable book which puts back together the Humpty Dumpty of theology, philosophy and political theory.' - Linda Kirk, English Historical Review, November 1997