Original Research

The theological significance of the state in the thought of Paul Tillich and Arnold van Ruler

G. Hodnett
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 38, No 1 | a420 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v38i1.420 | © 2004 G. Hodnett | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 August 2004 | Published: 01 August 2004

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G. Hodnett, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Abstract

This article looks at the importance of the state in the theologies of Paul Tillich and Arnold van Ruler. The state is the community in which both the individual and the community are actualised. It is also the institution that organises the life of the nation. The orientation of the state has a direct impact on the direction of human life. The state is the centre of power and justice in reality; it is the political core of history. The state also has the power to actualise itself according to the justice that it posits and in this process love is embedded as the ultimate criterion of justice. Love, power and justice are intimately related to the kingdom of God. The state, even the pagan state, thus performs the reuniting and saving work of God on earth.

Keywords

Relationship Between Church And State; Relationship Between State And The Grace Of God; Relationship Between State And The Kingdom Of God; Paul Tillich; Concept Of The State In His Theology; Arnold Van Ruler

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