O’Donovan’s Self, World, Time: a set of reading reviews

I recently ran across a new volume by Oliver O’Donovan: Self, World, Time: Ethics as Theology and I thought I’d give it a read and write a bit here about what he has to say.  O’Donovan is, I would say, perhaps the most important theological ethicist of the past few decades.  Of course, I have no doubt that others could easily offer learned rejoinders to such a claim and perhaps they’d be right: I’m not a theologian and I don’t (professionally) run around much with the folks who do theological ethics.  But as a Christian who’s deeply interested (both personally and professionally) in how theological and political ideas intersect–that’s a delightfully ambiguous verb, isn’t it?–I don’t think there’s anyone whose work I’ve found *more* intriguing than O’Donovan’s.  That’s not to say I always have any notion of what he means: I don’t.  O’Donovan is famous for his frustratingly obscure writing and it’s often quite difficult to tease out just where he’s driving, even if you find yourself quite sure that you are enjoying the scenery along the way.  So perhaps by jotting down some reasonably unformed thoughts as I read through the volume (probably just a chapter a day) I thought that perhaps I’d get a better sense of what he’s doing and since the Internet is all about ensuring that no thought, no matter how bad or poorly formed, goes unpublished, I’ll share them with both of our readers here.


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