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Representing GodChristian Legal Activism in Contemporary England$
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Méadhbh McIvor

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691193632

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691193632.001.0001

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Confronting a Hostile World

Confronting a Hostile World

Chapter:
(p.29) Chapter One Confronting a Hostile World
Source:
Representing God
Author(s):

Méadhbh McIvor

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691193632.003.0002

This chapter explores the 'hostile world' thesis, which posits Christians as the increasingly countercultural inhabitants of a de-Christianising, 'hostile' state. For the members of Christ Church, the hostility they (expect to) face is thought to be inevitable. For the staff of Christian Concern, by contrast, ungodly legislation is met with what can be called an urgent theology of activism, in which Christians must 'stand for Truth' regardless of either personal cost or practical outcome. This approach helps rationalise the pursuit of the (sometimes unwinnable) legal cases that have propelled the organisation to fame. In focusing on particular policy areas, however, this urgent theology also risks circumscribing and relativising Christianity, suggesting that — as a minority interest requiring protection under rights-based law — it is merely one identitarian option among others.

Keywords:   Christians, hostile state, Christ Church, hostility, Christian Concern, ungodly legislation, urgent theology, Christian activism, Christianity, rights-based law

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