Tag Archives: semantics

On the (over?)use of the term political

I was recently chided by a good friend for my frequent and (I was told) vague use of the terms “politics,” “political,” and the like. The point was well-made: if everything is political, then how does the use of such a term help us in any way at all? I want to try to respond to this question with the claim that the peculiar nature of Christian allegiance calls for a use of such terms like in theological discourse, even if such use is hard for those in other disciplines to understand.

My widespread description of many things related to church, faith, and identity related as “political” is, I think, not unusual to me, but is widespread in theological literature. I acknowledge that there is probably some semantic laziness here that evacuates the term of useful meanings; I spot it in my own writing.  However, I claim that it is primarily something else that is going on. Continue reading On the (over?)use of the term political