Christianity and the Liberal Political Tradition

large allegory of good government

'The Allegory of Good Government' by Ambrogio Lorenzetti (1338)

The theme of this year’s Oxford-Princeton Seminar in Political Theology is "Christian Political Thought: Christianity and the Liberal Political Tradition."

If last year’s seminar engaged with one strand of late medieval and early modern texts as possible sources for political renewal, this year’s seminar asks more forthrightly: how ought Christians think about Christianity’s compatibility with contemporary liberalism?

After all, the present discourses about Christian political theology are saturated by crises and critique—dissatisfaction with liberalism’s regime of rights, calls for Christian nationalism or Catholic Integralism, and worries about the eroding public witness of Christianity in the West, the advent of secularist politics, and so on.

Which of these crises are true? And what kind of renewal of Christian political theology do these times call for?

We invite graduate student papers for our 2024 conference to reflect on the broad themes of Christian political theology and liberalism. Given that our seminar has drawn on two differing engagements with contemporary liberalism—Joan O’Donovan’s English Public Theology and Kevin Vallier’s All The Kingdoms of the World—these papers are invitations to provide sustained engagement with themes in Christian political theology.

Student papers can pursue one of two routes: (1)  engage with a late medieval or early modern thinker about some select theme—ideas of kingship, readings of biblical texts, conception of rights or (2) engage with contemporary discussion about Christianity and liberalism, in partial dialogue with O’Donovan, Vallier, or other recent academic discussions.




For some possible questions to pursue, please look back at some of the reading questions distributed over the past two years of seminars.

  • Paper length should be prepared for a 20-25 minute presentation (~3000 words)

  • Papers will be considered for publication alongside the senior faculty addresses. Please indicate on your submission whether you are interested in moving forward with publication.

  • Please submit a 250 word abstract by Friday, March 15, 2024; Final submission is by May 24, 2024. Please email Darren Yau (