Catholics and Politics
The Dynamic Tension Between Faith and Power
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Catholics and Politics by Kristin E. Heyer
Book DescriptionCatholic political identity and engagement defy categorization. The complexities of political realities and the human nature of such institutions as church and government often produce a more fractured reality than the pure unity depicted in doctrine. Yet, in 2003 under the leadership of then-prefect Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a "Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life". The note explicitly asserts, "The Christian faith is an integral unity, and thus it is incoherent to isolate some particular element to the detriment of the whole of Catholic doctrine. A political commitment to a single isolated aspect of the Church's social doctrine does not exhaust one's responsibility toward the common good". "Catholics and Politics" takes up the political and theological significance of this "integral unity", the universal scope of Catholic concern that can make for strange political bedfellows, confound predictable voting patterns, and leave the church poised to critique narrowly partisan agendas across the spectrum. "Catholics and Politics" depicts the ambivalent character of Catholics' mainstream "arrival" in the U.S. over the past forty years, integrating social scientific, historical and moral accounts of persistent tensions between faith and power. Divided into four parts - Catholic Leaders in U.S. Politics; The Catholic Public; Catholics and the Federal Government; and, International Policy and the Vatican - it describes the implications of Catholic universalism for voting patterns, international policymaking, and partisan alliances. The book reveals complex intersections of Catholicism and politics and the new opportunities for influence and risks of cooptation of political power produced by these shifts. Contributors include political scientists, ethicists, and theologians. The book will be of interest to scholars in political science, religious studies, and Christian ethics and all lay Catholics interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the tensions that can exist between church doctrine and partisan politics.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781589012158
(229mm x 152mm x 20mm)
Imprint: Georgetown University Press
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Publish Date: 15-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Kristin E. Heyer
Kinship Across Borders, Paperback (October 2012)
The failure of immigration policies in the United States has resulted in dire consequences. This title analyzes contemporary US immigration in the context of fundamental Christian beliefs about the human person, sin, family life, and global solidarity.
Prophetic and Public, Paperback (April 2006)» View all books by Kristin E. Heyer
The United States was founded on a commitment to religious tolerance. Inherent in this political reality is the question, "What is the appropriate relationship between religious beliefs and public life?" This is not a new question, but in contemporary US politics it has become a particularly insistent one. This book offers new and nuanced answers.
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Author Biography - Kristin E. Heyer
Kristin E. Heyer is Bernard J. Hanley Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University. She is the author of Prophetic and Public also published by Georgetown University Press. Mark J. Rozell is professor of public policy at George Mason University. Michael A. Genovese holds the Loyola Chair of Leadership at Loyola Marymount University.
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