Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

John A. Coleman, S.J.

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pp. ix-xviii

A lurking ambiguity lies just under the surface of the foundational texts of the New Testament about state, citizenship, and society. On the one hand, two key texts, Romans 13:1–7 and I Peter 2:13–14, insist that Christians should be “good citizens” within the Roman Empire...

PART I: STATE AND CIVIL SOCIETY

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One: Christianity and Civil Society

Michael Banner

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pp. 3-21

In its contemporary usage the term civil society typically refers to the totality of structured associations, relationships, and forms of cooperation between persons that exist in the realm between the family and the state. Where such patterns of association, cooperation, and structured relationships are thought to be weak or inconsequential, as in the corporatist East of yesteryear...

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Two: A Limited State and a Vibrant Society: Christianity and Civil Society

John A. Coleman, S.J.

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pp. 22-53

It would be foolhardy indeed, and risk a superficial mere “skimming view,” to attempt, in the small compass of one essay, any comprehensive or encyclopedic overview on the topic of Christianity’s position on the state and civil society. The competing Staatslehren (where there even is one!) of different Christian theological “families,” such as Catholics, Calvinists, Lutherans, Anabaptists, and the Orthodox...

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Three: Christianity, Civil Society, and the State: A Protestant Response

Max L. Stackhouse

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pp. 54-64

I am delighted to have a chance to respond formally to John Coleman, for I have done so often in my mind and too seldom in person. He is one of the most important Christian thinkers in the area of social thought. Obviously a deeply committed Roman Catholic, he is also one who has taken some pains to study major strands of Protestant thought...

PART II: BOUNDARIES AND JUSTICE

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Four: Christian Attitudes toward Boundaries: Metaphysical and Geographical

Richard B. Miller

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pp. 67-91

Christians began to think systematically about the ethics of land, territory, and boundaries within a specific set of historical circumstances. European claims to dominion in the New World during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries generated a new range of questions in moral theology for Catholics and Protestants alike...

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Five: The Value of Limited Loyalty: Christianity, the Nation, and Territorial Boundaries

Nigel Biggar

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pp. 92-110

Some OF the more interesting things that Christianity has to say about territorial boundaries come by way of its views on the nation, national identity and loyalty, and nationalism. Historically, of course, Christianity—or, rather, Christians—have said different and sometimes quite contradictory things on these topics...

PART III: PLURALISM

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Six: Conscientious Individualism: A Christian Perspective on Ethical Pluralism

David Little

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pp. 113-140

There are several conceptual ambiguities about the term “pluralism” that need to be clarified. According to the dictionary, it is both a descriptive term, “the quality or state of being plural,” and a theoretical or normative term, “the doctrine that there are more than one or two kinds of being or independent centers of causation”...

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Seven: Pluralism as a Matter of Principle

James W. Skillen

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pp. 141-152

David Little builds his case for a “weak theory” of ethical pluralism largely on the basis of what he calls “conscientious individualism.” In response, I would like to argue that something broader and deeper than conscientious individualism is needed to account for both the diversity of ethical responsibilities that humans bear and the diverse, often incompatible ways they exercise those responsibilities...

PART IV: INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY

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Eight: Christianity and the Prospects for a New Global Order

Max L. Stackhouse

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pp. 155-169

It is no accident that the issue of reconstituting international society appears before us today, at a moment when the economic, medical, cultural, and communication structures that play such a critical role in modern society are changing rapidly. Although civil society in the past largely coincided with the boundaries of the state, it is now being reconstructed internationally...

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Nine: Globalization and Catholic Social Thought: Mutual Challenges

John A. Coleman, S.J.

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pp. 170-188

I confess to some trepidation in addressing the topic: Globalization as a challenge to Catholic social thought. Why not its inverse: Catholic social thought as a challenge to globalization? As we will see, they represent a mutual challenge to each other. Moreover, the title of this essay made me mindful of solemn advice earlier imparted to me: never try to explain the obscure by the even more obscure!...

PART V: WAR AND PEACE

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Ten: The Ethics of War and Peace in the Catholic Natural Law Tradition

John Finnis

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pp. 191-216

Law, and a legalistic morality and politics, can define peace and war by their mutual opposition. Any two communities are either at peace or at war with one another. If they are at war, each is seeking a relationship to the other (“victory over,” “prevailing over”) which that other seeks precisely to frustrate or overcome. If they are at peace, each pursues its own concerns in a state of indifference to, noninterference in, or collaboration with the concerns of the other...

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Eleven: Just War Thinking in Catholic Natural Law

Joseph Boyle

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pp. 217-231

I am in substantial agreement with the analysis in John Finnis’s chapter. Indeed, it is as good a short statement of just war theory within the Catholic natural law tradition as I know of. Given this, I think the most useful contributions I can make are to underline certain points that seem to me to be important, to develop some of the distinctions Finnis makes, and to draw out some of the implications of his analysis...

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Twelve: Christian Nonviolence: An Interpretation

Theodore J. Koontz

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pp. 232-260

I have four aims in this chapter. The first is to describe briefly something of the range of views that may fit under the heading “Christian nonviolence.” The second is to give an account of the context out of which it makes sense to be committed to a certain kind of Christian nonviolence (“pacifism”)...

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Thirteen: Conflicting Interpretations of Christian Pacifism

Michael G. Cartwright

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pp. 261-278

Though he discusses Christian nonviolence with scholarly care, Ted Koontz remains a passionately committed Christian. By insisting that the questions nonviolent Christians ask about the ethics of war and peace are different from the questions asked by those who approach the topic from other directions, he reminds us of the importance of religious convictions, or the absence of such convictions...

Contributors

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pp. 279-280

Index

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pp. 281-289