In any compilation of Christian views of the state, the Anabaptist position stands out as unique or, if one wanted to be less complimentary, extreme. The Anabaptist view of the state is less focused on articulating the division between church and state responsibilities than the Reformed or Lutheran traditions. Indeed, Anabaptists have no assigned role for government beyond the creation of order, emphasizing scriptural interpretations that give primacy to the church in the life of a Christian. As a result, political theology distances Anabaptists from both the Catholic Church and the mainstream of the Reformation.

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Copyright © 2009 Oxford University Press. This chapter first appeared in Church, State and Citizen: Christian Approaches to Political Engagement.

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