Alien citizens : discerning the now and the not yet in the thought of Richard John Neuhaus.
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Reynolds, Matt (Matt L.)
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Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009) was a prominent author, editor and cleric whose reflections on the relationship between Christian faith and American democracy were highly influential. This paper describes his efforts, over more than four decades as a public intellectual, to correctly prioritize his patriotic attachment to the American experiment and his ultimate loyalty to Christ and the Church. Neuhaus discerned perennial and irresolvable tensions between what he termed the "Now" and the "Not Yet" of the Christian experience, ideas that are roughly analogous to Augustine's concepts of the City of Man and the City of God. The paper demonstrates how Neuhaus exhorted American Christians to engagement in the political arena, taught how American democracy depends upon acknowledgment of Christ's lordship, and warned against the desire to build a perfectly Christianized society on earth.