The Reign of God constitutes the first detailed and systematic critical engagement with Oliver O'Donovan's political theology. It argues that O'Donovan's theological account of political authority is not tenable on the basis of exegetical and methodological problems.

The book goes on to demonstrate a way to refine O'Donovan's theology of political authority by incorporating insights from his earlier work in moral theology. This can provide a cogent basis for thinking that the Christ-event redeems the natural political authority embedded in the created order and inaugurates its new historical bene esse in the form of Christian liberalism.


"At last, a full-length monograph on Oliver O'Donovan's remarkable theology of political authority. Jonathan Cole does us a great service in this comprehensive, clearly-written and constructively critical account of O'Donovan's political thought. Both seasoned readers of O'Donovan and newcomers to his corpus will find this an invaluable companion."

— Jonathan Chaplin, Institute for Christian Studies, Canada

"This book is no doubt a significant step in the ongoing reception of O'Donovan's political theology, developing a detailed and carefully argued critique of O'Donovan's account of political authority. To his credit, Cole does not let his overall sympathy and appreciation stand in the way of critical examination and disagreement."

— Guido de Graaff, St Augustine College of Theology, UK

"The Reign of God provides a clear map of the logic of O'Donovan's theology of political authority, a lucid understanding of the alternatives that troubled him, and a constructive resolution to his theology's internal contradictions. By thinking with and beyond O'Donovan, this book makes a distinctive contribution to Christian political theology."

— Aristotle Papanikolaou, Professor of Theology, Archbishop Demetrios Chair of Orthodox Theology and Culture, Co-founding director, Orthodox Christian Studies Center, Fordham University, USA
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