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The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis / Edition 1
     

The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis / Edition 1

4.0 2
by Robert P. George
 

ISBN-10: 1882926943

ISBN-13: 9781882926947

Pub. Date: 05/28/2002

Publisher: ISI Books

It is a common supposition among many of our cultural elites that a constitutional "wall of separation” between church and state precludes religious believers from bringing their beliefs to bear on public matters. This is because secular liberals typically assume that their own positions on morally charged issues of public policy are the fruit of pure reason, while

Overview

It is a common supposition among many of our cultural elites that a constitutional "wall of separation” between church and state precludes religious believers from bringing their beliefs to bear on public matters. This is because secular liberals typically assume that their own positions on morally charged issues of public policy are the fruit of pure reason, while those of their morally conservative opponents reflect an irrational religious faith. In The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion, and Morality in Crisis, Princeton political theorist Robert P. George shows that this supposition is wrong on both counts.
Challenging liberalism's claim to represent the triumph of reason, George argues that on controversial issues like embryonic stem-cell research, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage, traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs are actually rationally superior to secular liberal alternatives. Drawing on the natural law philosophical tradition, George demolishes various secularist pretenses, such as the notion that the very young and very old among us are somehow subpersonal and not worthy of full legal protection. He reveals the dubious person-body dualism implicit in secularist arguments, and he demonstrates the flawed reasoning behind the idea that the state ought to be neutral regarding competing understandings of the nature and value of marriage. George also revisits the controversy surrounding his participation in the First Things "End of Democracy?” symposium, in which he considered the relevance of Catholic teachings regarding the legitimacy of political regimes to the contemporary American situation. George argues that because natural law and natural rights doctrine lie at the foundation of the American republic, the judicial reading of the Constitution that has undermined democracy in order to enshrine the secularist agenda is deeply flawed.
In advancing his thesis, George argues for a return to old-fashioned liberalism, a worldview that he claims is best exemplified by Pope John Paul II, whose teachings laud
democracy, religious liberty, and economic freedom while also recognizing the demands of civil rights, social and economic justice, and the principle of subsidiarity. These demands restrain Catholics—and indeed all people of faith—from making personal freedom an absolute, and George takes to task those political leaders who, though believers, have denied or ignored the political responsibility this entails.
The Clash of Orthodoxies is a profoundly important contribution to our contemporary national conversation about the proper role of religion in politics. The lucid and persuasive prose of Robert George, one of America's most prominent public intellectuals, will shock secular liberals out of an unwarranted complacency and provide
powerful ammunition for embattled defenders of traditional morality.
Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is a former Presidential Appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and he served as a Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the 1990 Justice Tom C. Clark Award. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, Professor George earned his doctorate in legal philosophy from Oxford University. His earlier books include Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality (Oxford University Press, 1993) and In Defense of Natural Law (Clarendon Press, 1999).
John DiIulio is Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781882926947
Publisher:
ISI Books
Publication date:
05/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
420
Sales rank:
829,455
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword: Faith, Reason, and Truthix
Prefacexiii
The Public Square
1.The Clash of Orthodoxies (Including an exchange with Josh Dever)3
2.Liberal Political Theory and the Culture of Death39
3.God's Reasons63
4."Same-Sex Marriage" and "Moral Neutrality"75
5.The Concept of Public Morality91
6.Making Children Moral: Pornography, Parents, and the Public Interest111
The Courts
7.The Tyrant State127
8.Justice, Legitimacy, and Allegiance: "The End of Democracy" Symposium Revisited137
9.Natural Law and Civil Rights: From Jefferson's "Letter to Henry Lee" to Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"153
10.Natural Law, the Constitution, and the Theory and Practice of Judicial Review (Including an exchange with James Fleming)169
11.What Is Law? A Century of Arguments211
The Church
12.Religious Values and Politics231
13.Nature, Morality, and Homosexuality259
14.Bioethics and Public Policy: Catholic Participation in the American Debate273
15.On Fides et Ratio303
Afterword: We Should Not Kill Human Embryos--For Any Reason317
Notes325
Index367

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