Andrew Willard Jones Interview: Church and State

Deacon Harrison Garlick interviews Andrew Willard Jones on Church and State.

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Before Church and State: A Study of Social Order in the Sacramental Kingdom of St. Louis IX

Before Church and State: A Study of Social Order in the Sacramental Kingdom of St. Louis IX by Andrew Willard Jones explores in great detail the “problem of Church and State” in thirteenth-century France. It argues that while the spiritual and temporal powers existed, they were not parallel structures attempting to govern the same social space in a contest over sovereignty. Rather, the spiritual and the temporal powers were wrapped up together in a differentiated and sacramental world, and both included the other as aspects of their very identity. The realm was governed not by proto-absolutist institutions, but rather by networks of friends that cut across lay/clerical lines. Ultimately, the king’s “fullness of power” and the papacy’s “fullness of power” came together to govern a single social order.

The prevailing narrative of human history, given to us as children and reinforced constantly through our culture, is the plot of progress. As the narrative goes, we progressed from tyranny to freedom, from superstition to science, from poverty to wealth, from darkness to enlightenment. This is modernity’s origin myth. Out of it, a consensus has emerged: part of human progress is the overcoming of religion, in particular Christianity, and that the world itself is fundamentally secular.

The Two Cities: A History of Christian Politics

In The Two Cities: A History of Christian Politics, Andrew Willard Jones rewrites the political history of the West with a new plot, a plot in which Christianity is true, in which human history is Church history.

The Two Cities moves through the rise and fall of empires; cycles of corruption and reform; the rise and fall of Christendom; the emergence of new political forms, such as the modern state, and new political ideologies, such as liberalism and socialism; through the horrible destruction of modern warfare; and on to the plight of contemporary Christians. These movements of history are all considered in light of their orientation toward or away from God.

The Two Cities advances a theory of Christian politics that is both an explanation of secular politics and a proposal for Christians seeking to navigate today’s most urgent political questions.

About Deacon Harrison Garlick:

Dcn. Harrison Garlick is a deacon, husband, and father who serves as the chancellor and legal counsel for the Diocese of Tulsa & Eastern Oklahoma. He also serves as a tutor for the Alcuin Institute for Catholic Culture teaching in its Great Books program. Read his journey in the diaconate.

You can follow Dcn. Garlick on Twitter here.

About Andrew Willard Jones:

Andrew Willard Jones holds a PhD in Medieval History from Saint Louis University with a focus on the Church of the High Middle Ages. Jones’s work is primarily concerned with historical political theology and with the reconciliation of the post-modern with the pre-modern. Methodologically, his work treats history as a theological discipline and not as a secular archaeology. Jones has two books forthcoming: Before Church and State: A Study of Social Order in St. Louis IX’s Sacramental Kingdom and The Liturgical Cosmos: Explorations in the Sacramental and Biblical Vision of Pope Innocent III. He is also working on a one volume history of the Catholic Church.


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About the author, Adam

Adam is the Vice President St. Michael Catholic Radio in Tulsa and the co-host of The Catholic Man Show.

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