Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture

Book News: The Reign of God A Critical Engagement with Oliver O’Donovan’s Theology of Political Authority by Jonathan Cole

02 Sep 2022 - by Lauren Bartley

Congratulations to CRES Assistant Director Dr Jonathan Cole on the publication of his book The Reign of God: A Critical Engagement with Oliver O’Donovan’s Theology of Political Authority, T&T Clarke.

About the Book

The Reign of God constitutes the first detailed and systematic critical engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's political theology. It argues that O'Donovan's theological account of political authority is not tenable on the basis of exegetical and methodological problems.

The book goes on to demonstrate a way to refine O'Donovan's theology of political authority by incorporating insights from his earlier work in moral theology. This can provide a cogent basis for thinking that the Christ-event redeems the natural political authority embedded in the created order and inaugurates its new historical bene esse in the form of Christian liberalism.

Read more about the book in Engage 10

Table of Contents


Chapter 1:
Oliver O'Donovan's English-language Reception and Theopolitical Influences
Chapter 2:
Government-as-Judgment: An Exposition of O'Donovan's Theology of Political Authority

Chapter 3:
Does Israel Reveal the Essence of Political Authority?

Chapter 4:
Romans 13: 1–7 and the Christological “Re-authorisation” of Political Authority

Chapter 5:
Salvation-History, Biblical Theology and Political Authority

Chapter 6:
The “Providence Thesis” and Its Theodicy Implications

Chapter 7:
O'Donovan's (Conservative) Christian Liberalism

Chapter 8:
Providence and the Created Order: The Ontological Tension in the Accounts of Political Authority in Resurrection and Desire

Chapter 9:
The Redemption of Political Authority and Its New Historical Bene Esse as the Work of Divine Providence