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62 Harvard Theological R. 301 (1969)


In the long history of Christendom, an Erastian view of the relation between Church and State has existed in tension with a High Church view. This paper explores the current state of our current shopworn Erastian-like church-state nexus and considers what forces may bring a more relevant and effective institutional High Church witness into being. The fact that the United States has an Erastian-like church-state relation is borne out in a line of cases involving the judicial resolution of intra-church disputes and the effect to be given the mandates of ecclesiastical authority. It is also borne out in legislative and judicial treatment of tax exemption and state support for church-connected activities. This current Erastian church-state view works insofar as it guarantees a number of essential philanthropic services for the public, but a shift to a High Church method of critiquing society would be a more effective witness insofar as it would draw more attention to the largest societal problems and the most needed services.


Reprinted with permission of Harvard Theological Review.



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