Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
In this work I argue that A. J. Conyers provides a promising example for countering various weaknesses in evangelical theopolitical imagination. I make this argument in two ways. First, I provide a critical reading of Conyers's overall scholarly project, seeking to understand it in its own context and in conversation with other scholars. In particular, I draw on the influence of Jürgen Moltmann, Johannes Althusius, Eric Voegelin, the Southern Agrarians, and Richard Weaver on Conyers's thought. I then focus on Conyers's political theology, exploring how he diagnoses the modern world and what he proposes for remedies. I explore Conyers's political theology with an eye to these influences as well as to the contribution that his work makes to current scholarship.
Second, I provide a reading of Conyers's political theology while bringing it into conversation with prominent political theologian William Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh serves as a leading representative of contemporary political theology, and he provides a position that many people find compelling. His work also proves useful in understanding Conyers, because the two read modernity in overlapping and mutually reinforcing ways, with a few important differences. Identifying these differences situates Conyers as a helpful political theologian and also contributes to some current debates in political theology.
In my conclusion, I utilize the insights from Conyers to begin building an evangelical political theology that points the way forward for overcoming typical weaknesses in evangelical theopolitical imagination.