Studies in Christian Ethics 23 (3):300-315 (2010)

David McIlroy
Brown University
David H. McIlroy
University of Notre Dame
The ostensible arguments advanced by Oliver O’Donovan for a confessionally Christian constitutional order are not persuasive, even in the terms of his own scheme, because they presuppose that such a confession may be required as a representative act. Within his theory lies, however, the assumption that confessing Christ is fundamental to all right decision-making, including the political. This renders the confession of Christ not merely a possibility for legitimate governments but rather essential to just political judgments. If O’Donovan’s ostensible arguments prove too little, the underlying logic of his position claims too much. O’Donovan is mistaken in his assumption that political judgments must be placed within the same comprehensive moral vision as personal decisions. Because political judgments bear only an indirect relationship to absolute right they may be rightly made without the express confession of Christ in the constitutional order
Keywords Augustine  liberal Christendom  confessional state  Oliver O'Donovan  political liberalism  political theology  Christian state
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0953946809368027
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,634
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Christ and the Moral Life.James M. Gustafson - 1968 - Westminster John Knox Press.
Christian Ethics in a Technological Age.Brian Brock - 2010 - William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co..


Added to PP index

Total views
58 ( #199,916 of 2,533,815 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #388,784 of 2,533,815 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes