Who are the People? Toward a Theological Ethics of Citizenship and Community
In the context of the current refugee crisis, there has been a revival of concern with territoriality, nationality, and identity throughout Europe. In response to this revival, Reiner Anselm develops a theological ethics of community and citizenship from a Protestant perspective. Concentrating on the controversies which have characterized German Protestantism, he analyzes how theologians have aimed to close the conceptual gap in the construction of the state through recourse to a conceptual level prior to statehood. The grammar of the conflict about what constitutes such a level is, he argues, characterized by competing conceptualizations of Human Rights. Ultimately, he argues for the regulation of questions of citizenship and community through the processes that Seyla Benhabib calls “democratic iterations.” Building on Benhabib, the point and purpose of a theological ethics from a Protestant perspective is not to legitimize these processes, but to push them toward increasing inclusivity.