Aquinas Feminism and the Common Good

Author: Susanne M. DeCrane
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589012417
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Feminist Ethics and Natural Law

Author: Cristina L. H. Traina
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589018464
Format: PDF
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Heated debates over such issues as abortion, contraception, ordination, and Church hierarchy suggest that feminist and natural law ethics are diametrically opposed. Cristina L.H. Traina now reexamines both Roman Catholic natural law tradition and Anglo-American feminist ethics and reconciles the two positions by showing how some of their aims and assumptions complement one another. After carefully scrutinizing Aquinas’s moral theology, she analyzes trends in both contemporary feminist ethics, theological as well as secular, and twentieth-century Roman Catholic moral theology. Although feminist ethics reject many of the methods and conclusions of the scholastic and revisionist natural law schools, Traina shows that a truly Thomistic natural law ethic nonetheless provides a much-needed holistic foundation for contemporary feminist ethics. On the other hand, she offers new perspectives on the writings of Josef Fuchs, Richard McCormick, and Gustavo Gutierrez, arguing that their failure to catch the full spirit of Thomas’s moral vision is due to inadequate attention to feminist critical methods. This highly original book proposes an innovative union of two supposedly antagonistic schools of thought, a new feminist natural law that would yield more comprehensive moral analysis than either existing tradition alone. This is a provocative book not only for students of moral theology but also for feminists who may object to the very notion of natural law ethics, suggesting how each might find insight in an unlikely place.

United States Welfare Policy

Author: Thomas J. Massaro, SJ
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589014800
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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.

John Cuthbert Ford SJ

Author: Eric Marcelo O. Genilo, SJ
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589013513
Format: PDF, Docs
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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.

Loyal Dissent

Author: Charles E. Curran
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589013636
Format: PDF
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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.

The Common Good and Christian Ethics

Author: David Hollenbach
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521894517
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Makes both practical and theoretical contributions to the developing shape of religious life today.

The Ethics of Aquinas

Author: Stephen J. Pope
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9780878408887
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In this comprehensive anthology, twenty-seven outstanding scholars from North America and Europe address every major aspect of Thomas Aquinas's understanding of morality and comment on his remarkable legacy. While there has been a revival of interest in recent years in the ethics of St. Thomas, no single work has yet fully examined the basic moral arguments and content of Aquinas' major moral work, the Second Part of the Summa Theologiae. This work fills that lacuna. The first chapters of The Ethics of Aquinas introduce readers to the sources, methods, and major themes of Aquinas's ethics. The second part of the book provides an extended discussion of ideas in the Second Part of the Summa Theologiae, in which contributors present cogent interpretations of the structure, major arguments, and themes of each of the treatises. The third and final part examines aspects of Thomistic ethics in the twentieth century and beyond. These essays reflect a diverse group of scholars representing a variety of intellectual perspectives. Contributors span numerous fields of study, including intellectual history, medieval studies, moral philosophy, religious ethics, and moral theology. This remarkable variety underscores how interpretations of Thomas's ethics continue to develop and evolve--and stimulate fervent discussion within the academy and the church. This volume is aimed at scholars, students, clergy, and all those who continue to find Aquinas a rich source of moral insight.

Just Love

Author: Margaret Farley
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 144114420X
Format: PDF, Docs
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This long-awaited book by one of American Christianity's foremost ethicists proposes a framework for sexual ethics whereby justice is the criterion for all loving, including love that is related to sexual activity and relationships. It begins with historical and cross-cultural explorations, then addresses the large questions of embodiment, gender, and sexuality, and finally delineates the justice framework for sexual ethics. Though Just Love's particular focus is Christian sexual ethics, Farley's framework is broad enough to have relevance for multiple traditions. Also covered are specific issues in sexual ethics, including same-sex relationships, marriage and family, divorce and second marriage, celibacy, and sex and its negativities.