Radical Faith, Radical Democracy: John Howard Yoder's Perspective

Radical Faith, Radical Democracy: John Howard Yoder's Perspective

Andres S. TANG

In this paper, John H. Yoder's theological understanding of democracy is introduced. The first part is the introduction. The second part is about the limitations of various forms of democracy currently practised. According to some scholars in political science, these forms are but some forms of electorcracy rather than an authentic democracy. In the third part, Yoder's attitude towards democracy is discussed. For him, Christianity does not have the responsibility of justifying what form of government, including democracy, is the best though the government concerned needs to clarify what is better and what is worse. His interpretation of Roman 13:1-7 is introduced. In the fourth part, Yoder's dialogical democracy advocated in the New Testament for the church is explored along with Romand Coles' understanding of radical democracy. While Coles accepts Yoder's dialogical democracy in which the right of speaking and the duty of listening are practiced in the community, he differs himself from Yoder by refusing to confess Christ as the Lord who is the truth that we all do not possess. Because of this theological reason , the church as a community of Christ's disciples is required to listen to each other and even outsiders, including rival traditions. This is a kind of local yet dialogical democracy which requires patience and non-violence. The fifth part is the conclusion.

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