Cover image for Catholics, politics, and public policy : beyond left and right
Catholics, politics, and public policy : beyond left and right
Cochran, Clarke E., 1945-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Maryknoll, N.Y. : Orbis Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
xiv, 210 pages ; 24 cm
Embracing the challenge of Catholic political engagement -- Toward a just economy -- Rethinking health care policy -- Strong and secure families -- Family, solaridity, and the elderly -- Strong and secure communities -- Respecting racial and ethnic pluralism -- Protecting the environment -- Consistently defending the sanctity of human life.
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BX1793 .C53 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Political scientists show how principles of Catholic social teaching can guide judgments about contemporary political issues.

Author Notes

David Carroll Cochran is professor of political science at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Two Catholic political scientists reflect on the application of Catholic social justice principles to current political issues in the US. They seek to represent "mainstream" Catholic views on how to achieve a more just community. The Cochrans propose cooperative action between faithful individuals, the Catholic Church, and the political state. They believe that faith is not a private matter and assert the individual's duty to act responsibly in the public sector. Their position is neither conservative nor libertarian. The Cochrans advocate the use of prudential reason in search of Catholic policies for complex political problems. They review public policy in economic, health care, family, crime, racial, ethnic, environmental, and right-to-life areas. In each chapter they briefly review church documents, apply those principles to a variety of policy issues, and end with selected references and helpful Web sites. They concede that Catholic positions often do not reflect majority American positions on poverty, national security, defense spending, and foreign aid. This useful compendium of Catholic social justice teachings reflecting the authors' applications of Catholic principles to current policy issues brings their faith to bear on serious contemporary problems. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers and upper-division undergraduates. M. S. Power emeritus, Arkansas State University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1. Embracing the Challenge of Catholic Political Engagementp. 1
Engaging the Worldp. 1
Politics and Salvationp. 3
Religion and Politicsp. 5
Core Themes of Catholic Social Teachingp. 6
The Catholic Voice in American Politicsp. 11
Concluding Thoughtsp. 21
References, Suggested Readings, Helpful Web Sitesp. 22
2. Toward a Just Economyp. 24
The Meaning of Economic Lifep. 24
Government and the Economy in the United Statesp. 28
Macroeconomic Policyp. 33
The Problem of Poverty and Government's Responsibilityp. 39
References, Suggested Readings, Helpful Web Sitesp. 46
3. Rethinking Healthcare Policyp. 48
Introductionp. 48
Where Do Catholics Come In? Life, Justice, Community, and Marketsp. 49
The Challenge: Assuring Healthcarep. 52
Catholic Response: Universal Insurance and Catholic Ministryp. 55
Challenge: Biotechnology's Promise and Perilp. 64
Conclusion: The Ideological Mapp. 67
References, Suggested Readings, Helpful Web Sitesp. 68
4. Strong and Secure Familiesp. 70
The Ambiguity of Family in Church Historyp. 71
The "Crisis" of the Familyp. 73
Government and the Familyp. 74
The Family and Public Policyp. 76
Support for Childrenp. 77
Public Policy: Marriage and Divorcep. 80
Public Policy: Children and Educationp. 84
Conclusionp. 89
References, Suggested Readings, Helpful Web Sitesp. 89
5. Family, Solidarity, and the Elderlyp. 92
Keeping Faith with the Elderlyp. 92
Income Security for the Elderlyp. 96
Healthcarep. 103
Family, Civil Society, and Governmentp. 110
References, Suggested Readings, Helpful Web Sitesp. 111
6. Strong and Secure Communitiesp. 113
The Challenge: Crime and Civic Healthp. 114
The Catholic Response: Effective and Humane Crime Controlp. 120
The Catholic Response: Revitalizing Civic Lifep. 129
References, Suggested Readings, Helpful Web Sitesp. 134
7. Respecting Racial and Ethnic Pluralismp. 137
The Challenge: Race and Ethnicity in Americap. 138
The Catholic Response: Unity in Diversityp. 140
References, Suggested Readings, Helpful Web Sitesp. 158
8. Protecting the Environmentp. 161
The Challenge: The State of the Environmentp. 161
The Catholic Response: Stewards of the Earthp. 164
References, Suggested Readings, Helpful Web Sitesp. 180
9. Consistently Defending the Sanctity of Human Lifep. 182
The Challenge: Threats to Lifep. 183
The Catholic Response: From a Culture of Death to a Culture of Lifep. 188
References, Suggested Readings, Helpful Web Sitesp. 202
Indexp. 205