30 March 2011

Akin to love and kindness

The covenantal relationship between God and Man as it is described by the Bible contains the same respect for autonomy that was the principle concern that drove the social contract theorists in defining a mode of government that would preserve that sense of autonomy in the citizenry. 
Whereas, however, duty expresses the authority social contracts afford their citizens, the relation between Man and God is governed by something else, something more akin to love and kindness. Alongside the authority and the impulse to retributive justice that duty affords the citizens of a society governed by a secular administration, the affection for God on which a spiritual community bases itself engenders feelings of kindness, mercy and the impulse to distributive justice that fully complement that duty and fill out the members’ sense of autonomy and stewardship. 

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