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  • Cited by 10
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
February 2010
Print publication year:
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Book description

Liberalism and Catholicism are two of the most important forces shaping the contemporary political culture of the United States. This book explores what is at stake as they encounter each other in new contexts today and what a fresh conversation between them promises for the future of American public life. It is based on the conviction that both traditions continue to have much to learn from each other and that both would contribute more constructively to the resolution of the problems facing the nation if they were to do so. It is thus an invitation to the dialogue that could produce such mutual learning, and is a collaborative effort that brings together the work of scholars from a variety of disciplines. Though the book gives particular attention to the United States, it has relevance to debates about the future of liberalism and Catholicism in many other parts of the world.


"The essays are scholarly, thought provoking, and challenging....they prod the reader to rethink his or her assumptions and definitions carefully. This is an excellent compilation, a serious, positive, and, for many, persuasive contribution to the important discussion of America's public philosophy." American Historical Review

" impressive collection of essays that deal with two important forces shaping the contemporary political culture in the United States....A collaborative effort like this allows for informed diversity of opinions that cannot help but open a new level of constructive, intelligent dialogue within and without the American church." America

"...provides a needed historical perspective on a once adversarial relationship and could open venues for enlightenment and interaction." Publishers Weekly

"[T]here can be no question that anyone interested in Catholic social thought and its possible contribution to the forging of a public philosophy for contemporary America will find the essays by Peter Steinfels, Philip Gleason, Joesph A. Komonchak, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Louis Dupré, and Paul E. Sigmund, and Hollenbach's conclusion as well, worthwhile reading." Kenneth L. Grasso, First Things

"Catholicism and Liberalism offers a clear, well-reasoned approach. It deserves to be taken very seriously not only by students of American Catholicism, but especially in the broader public debate about the future of our society."--Harvard Divinity Bulletin

"All of the articles are sound, some profound, and collectively they complement and enrich the theme."--American Political Science Review

"This excellent collection of essays can well serve both as an introduction to the many questions and problems posed by the uneasy relationship between liberalism and Catholic thought, as well as a provocative springboard to salvaging the best each tradition has to offer for the benefit of our future society." Journal of Church and State

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