In Religion and the Obligations of Citizenship Paul J. Weithman asks whether citizens in a liberal democracy may base their votes and their public political arguments on their religious beliefs. Drawing on empirical studies of how religion actually functions in politics, he challenges the standard view that citizens who rely on religious reasons must be prepared to make good their arguments by appealing to reasons that are 'accessible' to others. He contends that churches contribute to democracy by enriching political debate (...) and by facilitating political participation, especially among the poor and minorities, and as a consequence, citizens acquire religiously based political views and diverse views of their own citizenship. He concludes that the philosophical view which most defensibly accommodates this diversity is one that allows ordinary citizens to draw on the views their churches have formed when voting and offering public arguments for their political positions. (shrink)
Philip Quinn, John A. O’Brien Professor at the University of Notre Dame from 1985 until his death in 2004, was well known for his work in the philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and core areas of analytic philosophy. Although the breadth of his interests was so great that it would be virtually impossible to identify any subset of them as representative, the contributors to this volume provide an excellent introduction to, and advance the discussion of, some of the questions of (...) central importance to Quinn in the last years of his working life. Paul J. Weithman argues in his introduction that Quinn’s interest and analyses in many areas grew out of a distinctive and underlying sensibility that we might call “liberal faith.” It included belief in the value of a liberal education and in rigorous intellectual inquiry, the acceptance of enduring religious, cultural, and political pluralism, along with a keen awareness of problems posed by pluralism, and a deeply held but non-utopian faith in liberal democratic politics. These provocative essays, at the cutting edge of epistemology, the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and political philosophy, explore the tenets of liberal faith and invite continuing engagement with the philosophical issues. “Philip Quinn was admired enormously throughout the world of professional philosophy.... His reputation for rigor, his tireless service to the profession, and his essentially ‘non-dogmatic,’ but philosophically sophisticated faith is widely admired... The essays in this volume are first-rate contemporary philosophy along with an excellent introduction to Quinn’s work.” —_Charles Taliaferro, St. Olaf College_ "The papers that form _Liberal Faith_ give insightful treatments of three types of questions: first, how can we conscientiously believe something when there are many people we admire who do not believe it, and what is the underlying relation here between justification and rationality; second, what does it mean to desire union with God, and can Christians properly believe in the possibility of eternal self-annihilation; third, how should liberal democracy accommodate the religious convictions of its members, whether some comprehensive doctrine such as a religion is required to justify a commitment to human equality, and whether there is an absolute moral prohibition on the state use of torture. The volume has an unusually good introduction putting the papers into dialog with each other and with the work of Philip Quinn. The papers are cohesive because the central themes of Philip Quinn's work hold together into a picture of how Christianity and Liberal Democracy fit together." —_John Hare, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale Divinity School _ “This is a collection of high quality essays dealing with various topics related to Philip Quinn’s work. The book makes an original contribution by virtue of its individual papers, each of which is new. These essays will be of interest to scholars and students who followed Quinn’s work, especially in philosophy of religion and political philosophy.“ —_John Greco, The Leonard and Elizabeth Eslick Chair in Philosophy, Saint Louis University _. (shrink)
In his essay "Natural Law, Property, and Justice," B. Andrew Lustig argues for what he calls "significant correspondences" between John Locke's theory of property and scholastic theories of property on the one hand, and between Locke's theory and contemporary Catholic social teaching on the other. These correspondences, Lustig claims, establish an intellectual "tradition of property in common." I argue that linking Aquinas--even via Locke--to the redistributivism of contemporary Catholic social teaching requires distorting his political theory. This distortion, I argue, obscures (...) the possibility of using Aquinas's political theory as a basis for radical social criticism. (shrink)
Liberal political theorists are often accused of "privatizing" religion; the work of philosopher John Rawls has been especially subject to this criticism. I begin by examining what is meant by "privatization." I then consider the criticisms of Rawls advanced by Timothy Jackson, David Hollenbach, and John Langan. I argue (1) that Rawls does not privatize religion to the extent that his critics believe and (2) that criticisms of what privatization of religion Rawls does defend cannot be sustained.
Teachers of Thomas Aquinas's ethical and political thought will welcome Paul Sigmund's St. Thomas Aquinas on Politics and Ethics. Sigmund's book includes an incisive introduction treating of St. Thomas's life, sources and influence, eighty densely packed pages of newly retranslated selections from Thomas's works, background texts from Aristotle, Augustine, and Pseudo-Dionysius, and over one hundred pages excerpted from the works of those whom St. Thomas has influenced and those who have interpreted his ethics and politics.