On the one hand, an increasing number of thoughtful individuals have turned to the Catholic tradition in the hope of finding there either a coherent alternative to the liberal model of man and society or, at least, the intellectual resources necessary to remedy the most glaring deficiencies of contemporary liberalism. The E-mail message field is required. Includes two essays by D. This project will require the sort of deep knowledge and profound love of the Catholic tradition exhibited by thinkers like Maritain and Murray, the type of serious engagement with conciliar and papal social teaching rarely found in this volume, and a conversation with liberalism in which the desire for a rapprochement between the two traditions is not allowed to obscure the fundamental differences at the heart of their ongoing conflict. The good news about this volume is that it contains some fine essays. See John Coleman in Education for Citizenship, edited by Mary Boys, New York, The Pilgrim Press, 1989, p. See following correspondance 19 May, p.
New Studies in Christian Ethics. But no figure looms as large as that of John Courtney Murray, the American theologian who insisted that state-sponsored religion need not be the Catholic ideal, that separate church and state spheres did not threaten—and indeed could enhance—the vitality of religion in society, and that economic and religious individualism must be distinguished from the political individualism of a rights-based democracy. Similarly, Catholicisms understanding of the origins and nature of human social life is rooted in the triune character of the God whose image we bear. This conversation, apparently, designed both to effect a rapprochement between Catholicism and liberalism and to bring about a gradual convergence of the two traditions at least at the level of political theory. It would facilitate the quest by certain American Catholic intellectuals for full acceptance by contemporary Americas cultural elites.
Sigmund, and Hollenbach's conclusion as well, worthwhile reading. This exercise was not aimed simply at solidifying a defensive posture against individualism; rather, the Church sought to address the more pressing dangers of materialism, fascism, and communism. Eamonn Callan suggests that the developmental antecedents of mature liberal virtues might possibly be better served in separate schools. The sort of convergence envisioned here would necessarily involve the sacrifice of the integrity of one or both of the traditions. Astonishingly, however, only rarely do the essays engage in a serious and systematic fashion either this rich body of literature or the key ideas that inform it e. The question of religious liberty provides an apt illustration.
New York: Paulist Press, 1983. And the intellectual project does possess a certain superficial plausibility. Join the Conversation Receive Our Newsletter We Need Your Resources Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church. A collaborative effort like this allows for informed diversity of opinions that cannot help but open a new level of constructive, intelligent dialogue within and without the American church. Bruce Douglass and David Hollenbach, this volume consists of twelve essays with an introduction by Douglass and a conclusion by Hollenbach designed to bring the Catholic and liberal intellectual traditions into conversation. The worldview it is based on and the priorities which emerge from its educational philosophy are contestable, held by a minority of citizens and conflict, in some respects at least, with views widely shared among the public at large.
Copyright information Cite this chapter as: Sullivan J. New York: Crossroad, 1988; second printing: 1990. The Church could not be neutral, at least ideologically, on the contest that left Europe physically and spiritually devastated. The twentieth century witnessed a remarkable realignment of the Roman Catholic Church with the cause of religious liberty. The second development relates to the Catholic intellectual tradition. The widespread embrace of individual rights among Western democracies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had been met with skepticism by the Church, which traditionally favored a confessional state and insisted that freedom must rest on truth. The problem is that once you have gotten your nifty new product, the catholicism and liberalism hollenbach david douglass r bruce gets a brief glance, maybe a once over, but it often tends to get discarded or lost with the original packaging.
New Encounters and Theoretical Reconstructions: 5. Not only would the Churchs embrace of the free society seem to open the door to an embrace of the liberal model of man and society, but, inasmuch as it is widely believed that liberalism provides the essential intellectual foundation of the free society, it would seem even to entail such an embrace. Bruce Douglass and David Hollenbach Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994 , 1-16, at 10. A tradition may develop in the sense explored by Newman , but it cannot undergo the fundamental changes attributed to the two traditions here. It deserves to be taken very seriously not only by students of American Catholicism, but especially in the broader public debate about the future of our society. Catholicism and liberal democracy Paul E.
Sigmund, and Hollenbachs conclusion as well, worthwhile reading. The whole of the book somehow equals less than the sum of the parts. This, in turn, will presumably lay the groundwork for the new public philosophy America needs. On the contrary, an essential feature of an intellectual tradition as such is the presence of a shared body of core commitments that endure over time. Secondly, the project assumes that Catholic social teaching has in recent decades developed toward a convergence with liberalism.
One thinks here immediately of the seminal series of social encyclicals from Rerum Novarum to Centesimus Annus , of the historic documents of the Second Vatican Council, and of the pathbreaking work of thinkers like Jacques Maritain and John Courtney Murray. This conception of reason issues both in a naturalism that rejects any reality transcending the physical universe and in the denial of any order of human ends obliging us independently of our consent. A principled commitment to the free society does not entail an embrace of the liberal model of man and society. The first concerns contemporary Americas quest for a substantive public philosophy. The legal and liturgical elements in scripture also reinforce the strong emphasis on community and the common good. The free society is not a univocal concept; indeed, there exist a number of different theories of the free society with divergent understandings of politics and disparate conceptions of the nature of man. Bernard Lonergan sought to reframe the conception of understanding in light of modernity.
And just as surely religious freedom is one of the great achievements of the Council. Indeed, virtually all of these key intellectual figures experienced significant institutional opposition from the Church at some point in their careers. Likewise, if for the liberal tradition the individual human being continues to be surrounded by the aura of sanctity originally imparted to the human person by Christianity, the understanding of the nature of man and of the human good that informs liberalisms political morality is decisively shaped by its conception of reason-a conception deriving from Enlightenment rationalism with its esprit geometrique. That we need such a philosophy is today widely recognized. While the metaphysical and theological vision of Catholicism is theocentric and Christocentric, liberalism reflects the anthropocentric rationalism of the Enlightenment.