This course will examine a number of the key issues that have shaped Christianity and its understanding of the character and proper function of political life. Among the questions we will investigate are: What is the meaning of "politics"? What is the basis of the state, what is its nature, and what is its rightful purview? How are the church and state to relate to one another? And under what, if any, circumstances should Christians deem violence to be morally permissible? Most class sessions will feature brief lectures but the majority of the period will be devoted to guided discussion based on assigned readings. Accordingly, the reading load will be moderate to heavy. Evaluation will be based upon two major writing assignments and class participation.