Date of Award

Spring 1976

Document Type



Political Science & International Relations

First Advisor

Jeffrey Demetrescu

Second Advisor

Rev. Eugene Peoples

Third Advisor

Dennis Wiedmann


Who is there among us that can deny that a significant change has taken place in humankind's understanding of itself and it's world? And who can deny that our world, influenced by the process of secularisation, has been directed on a now course in history? Human culture with its temporal society and its institutions is achieving a new autonomy with respect to religion and attaining a new distinctive value - in and for itself. In the wake of the Western European Enlightenment, humans no longer have religious certainty in their world. While this shift has been negatively evaluated by many, some see it as a new and positive challenge to religion, a challenge for humans to rethink the locus of their experience of God.

More and more the realization is being made that this cannot occur until humans define themselves in such a way as to be able to produce a concept of God which will aid them in understanding the world and their vital participation in it. This is in fact the organizing principle or "elan vital" behind the emerging discipline of Political Theology.