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Aquinas Feminism And The Common Good

Author: Susanne M. DeCrane
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589012417
Size: 22.17 MB
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To dismiss the work of philosophers and theologians of the past because of their limited perceptions of the whole of humankind is tantamount to tossing the tot out with the tub water. Such is the case when feminist scholars of religion and ethics confront Thomas Aquinas, whose views of women can only be described as misogynistic. Rather than dispense with him, Susanne DeCrane seeks to engage Aquinas and reflect his otherwise compelling thought through the prism of feminist theology, hermeneutics, and ethics. Focusing on one of Aquinas's great intellectual contributions, the fundamental notion of "the common good"—in short, the human will toward peace and justice—DeCrane demonstrates the currency of that notion through a contemporary social issue: women's health care in the United States and, specifically, black women and breast cancer. In her skillful re-engagement with Aquinas, DeCrane shows that certain aspects of religious traditions heretofore understood as oppressive to women and minority groups can actually be parsed, "retrieved," and used to rectify social ills. Aquinas, Feminism, and the Common Good is a bold and intellectually rigorous feminist retrieval of an important text by a Catholic scholar seeking to remain in the tradition, while demanding that the tradition live up to its emphasis on human equity and justice.

John Cuthbert Ford Sj

Author: Eric Marcelo O. Genilo, SJ
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589013513
Size: 51.88 MB
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John Cuthbert Ford, SJ (1902-1989) was one of the leading American Catholic moralists of the 20th century. This is the first full-length analysis of his work and influence, one that not only reveals a traditionally Catholic method of moral analysis but also illuminates the conflicts behind and development of Catholic moral teaching during the volatile 1960s. Ford is best known for his influential contribution to Catholic teachings on three moral issues. His objection to the Allied practice of obliteration bombing during WWII by drawing a sharp distinction between combatants and noncombatants is still studied widely today. Ford campaigned for alcohol education for both clergy and laity and introduced a pastoral approach for assisting and counseling alcoholics. As a member of the Papal Commission on Population, Family, and Birth Rate during the 1960s, Ford was an unyielding defender of the traditional Catholic teaching on birth control that still reigns today. Drawing on the published works and personal papers of Ford, Eric Genilo begins with a brief description of the theologian's life, career, and influence. The book is divided into two parts. In Part I, Method, Genilo offers an overview of Ford's moral theology in the "manualist" tradition—a 300-year period during which Catholic priests used manuals to instruct the faithful on matters of morality and sin. Genilo then examines Ford's two modes of resolving moral cases and presents Ford's approach to doctrinal development. In Part II, Moral Objectivity, Genilo shows how Ford confronted the growing situation ethics movement, then moves to how he understood freedom and subjective culpability, particularly in the case of alcoholism. Later chapters reveal Ford's theological conflicts with Josef Fuchs, SJ on the issue of birth control, his staunch opposition to totalitarianism, and his moral analysis of how society should treat marginalized persons threatened by the abuse of power. Genilo concludes with an assessment of Ford's legacy to the development and practice of moral theology, leaving the reader with an in-depth portrait of an extraordinary man who dedicated his life to defending the Church and protecting the most vulnerable persons in society.

United States Welfare Policy

Author: Thomas J. Massaro, SJ
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589014800
Size: 53.61 MB
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The Welfare Reform Act of 1996 drastically changed the delivery of social services in the United States for the first time in sixty years. More than a decade later, according to Catholic social ethicist Thomas Massaro, a disturbing gap exists between the laws we have enacted as a nation and the moral concerns we profess as a people. Massaro contends that ethicists too often focus on strictly theoretical concerns rather than engaging concrete social and political issues, while public policy experts are uncomfortable drawing ethical judgments about legislation. United States Welfare Policy takes a fresh approach to the topic by using Catholic social teaching as a lens through which to view contemporary American welfare policies, citing the tradition's emphasis on serving the needy—including a preferential option for the poor—and the common good. Massaro maintains that the most important outcome of welfare policy is not the cost-effectiveness of programs, but the well-being of individual families. The concluding analysis of this thoughtful study applies Catholic ethical concerns to specific aspects of welfare reform, including the funding mechanisms for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, work participation requirements affecting the bond between mothers and children, eligibility rules, the intrusion of family caps into reproductive decisions, and the imposition of disproportionate burdens upon particular demographic groups. Massaro offers possible alternatives in each case and, as the fight over reauthorization of the welfare act continues, he calls on Catholic churches and clergy and laity to take action and advocate publicly for a more ethical approach to welfare reform.

Prophetic And Public

Author: Kristin E. Heyer
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589013971
Size: 38.32 MB
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The United States was founded on a commitment to religious tolerance. Based on this commitment, it has become one of the most religiously diverse and religiously observant liberal democracies in the world. 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. In this intelligent, wide-ranging book, Kristin Heyer provides new and nuanced answers. Prophetic and Public employs the discourse of public theology to consider what constitutes appropriate religio-political engagement. According to Heyer, public theology connects religious faith, concepts, and practices to their public relevance for the wider society. Her use of public theology concepts to address the appropriate possibilities and limits for religio-political engagement in the United States is both useful and enlightening. Heyer approaches the relationship between public morality and religious commitment through the example of the Catholic Church. She looks at two prominent Catholics—Michael Baxter and Bryan Hehir—as a way of discussing norms for practice of public theology. Heyer also analyzes case studies of three US Catholic advocacy groups: The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, NETWORK, and Pax Christi USA. Through her analysis she shows the various ways that the organizations' Catholic identity impacts their social and political efforts. From her investigations come norms that define possibilities and limits for political actions based on religious conviction. This deeply thoughtful book examines what is truly fundamental and inescapable about public life and private religious belief in the United States. In doing so, it makes skillful use of the tools of theology, philosophy, law, and advocacy to demonstrate that the Catholic Church reveals great diversity in its public theology, providing legitimate options for a faithful response to urgent political issues.

Loyal Dissent

Author: Charles E. Curran
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589013636
Size: 71.27 MB
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Loyal Dissent is the candid and inspiring story of a Catholic priest and theologian who, despite being stripped of his right to teach as a Catholic theologian by the Vatican, remains committed to the Catholic Church. Over a nearly fifty-year career, Charles E. Curran has distinguished himself as the most well-known and the most controversial Catholic moral theologian in the United States. On occasion, he has disagreed with official church teachings on subjects such as contraception, homosexuality, divorce, abortion, moral norms, and the role played by the hierarchical teaching office in moral matters. Throughout, however, Curran has remained a committed Catholic, a priest working for the reform of a pilgrim church. His positions, he insists, are always in accord with the best understanding of Catholic theology and always dedicated to the good of the church. In 1986, years of clashes with church authorities finally culminated in a decision by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, that Curran was neither suitable nor eligible to be a professor of Catholic theology. As a result of that Vatican condemnation, he was fired from his teaching position at Catholic University of America and, since then, no Catholic university has been willing to hire him. Yet Curran continues to defend the possibility of legitimate dissent from those teachings of the Catholic faith—not core or central to it—that are outside the realm of infallibility. In word and deed, he has worked in support of more academic freedom in Catholic higher education and for a structural change in the church that would increase the role of the Catholic community—from local churches and parishes to all the baptized people of God. In this poignant and passionate memoir, Curran recounts his remarkable story from his early years as a compliant, pre-Vatican II Catholic through decades of teaching and writing and a transformation that has brought him today to be recognized as a leader of progressive Catholicism throughout the world.

Theological Bioethics

Author: Lisa Sowle Cahill
Publisher:
ISBN:
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The field of bioethics was deeply influenced by religious thinkers as it emerged in the 1960s and early 1970s. Since that time, however, a seemingly neutral political liberalism has pervaded the public sphere, resulting in a deep suspicion of those bringing religious values to bear on questions of bioethics and public policy. As a theological ethicist and progressive Catholic, Lisa Sowle Cahill does not want to cede the "religious perspective" to fundamentalists and the pro-life movement, nor does she want to submit to the gospel of a political liberalism that champions individual autonomy as holy writ. In Theological Bioethics, Cahill calls for progressive religious thinkers and believers to join in the effort to reclaim the best of their traditions through jointly engaging political forces at both community and national levels. In Cahill's eyes, just access to health care must be the number one priority for this type of "participatory bioethics." She describes a new understanding of theological bioethics that must go beyond decrying injustice, beyond opposing social practices that commercialize human beings, beyond painting a vision of a more egalitarian future. Such a participatory bioethics, she argues, must also take account of and take part in a global social network of mobilization for change; it must seek out those in solidarity, those involved in a common calling to create a more just social, political, and economic system. During the past two decades Cahill has made profound contributions to theological ethics and bioethics. This is a magisterial and programmatic statement that will alter how the religiously inclined understand their role in the great bioethics debates of today and tomorrow that yearn for clear thinking and prophetic wisdom.

Catholic Moral Theology In The United States

Author: Charles E. Curran
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 28.40 MB
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In this magisterial volume Charles E. Curran surveys the historical development of Catholic moral theology in the United States from its 19th century roots to the present day. He begins by tracing the development of pre-Vatican II moral theology that, with the exception of social ethics, had the limited purpose of training future confessors to know what actions are sinful and the degree of sinfulness. Curran then explores and illuminates the post-Vatican II era with chapters on the effect of the Council on the scope and substance of moral theology, the impact of Humanae vitae, Pope Paul VI's encyclical condemning artificial contraception, fundamental moral theology, sexuality and marriage, bioethics, and social ethics. Curran's perspective is unique: For nearly 50 years, he has been a major influence on the development of the field and has witnessed first-hand the dramatic increase in the number and diversity of moral theologians in the academy and the Church. No one is more qualified to write this first and only comprehensive history of Catholic moral theology in the United States.