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.
Building a Better Bridge is a record of the fourth "Building Bridges" seminar held in Sarajevo in 2005 as part of an annual symposium on Muslim-Christian relations cosponsored by Georgetown University and the Archbishop of Canterbury. This volume presents the texts of the public lectures with regional presentations on issues of citizenship, religious believing and belonging, and the relationship between government and religion—both from the immediate situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and from three contexts further afield: Britain, Malaysia, and West Africa.
Both Christian and Muslim scholars propose key questions to be faced in addressing the issue of the common good. How do we approach the civic sphere as believers in particular faiths and as citizens of mixed societies? What makes us who we are, and how do our religious and secular allegiances relate to one another? How do we accommodate our commitment to religious values with acknowledgment of human disagreement, and how can this be expressed in models of governance and justice? How are we, mandated by scriptures to be caretakers, to respond to the current ecological and economic disorder of our world?
Michael Ipgrave and his contributors do not claim to provide definitive answers to these questions, but rather they further a necessary dialogue and show that, while Christian and Islamic understandings of God may differ sharply and perhaps irreducibly, the acknowledgment of one another as people of faith is the surest ground on which to build trust, friendship, and cooperation.
The authors examine a broad range of Catholic high schools to determine whether or not students are better educated in these schools than they are in public schools. They find that the Catholic schools do have an independent effect on achievement, especially in reducing disparities between disadvantaged and privileged students. The Catholic school of today, they show, is informed by a vision, similar to that of John Dewey, of the school as a community committed to democratic education and the common good of all students.
The Common Good of Constitutional Democracy offers a rich collection of essays in political philosophy by Swiss philosopher Martin Rhonheimer. Like his other books in both ethical theory and applied ethics, which have recently been published in English, the essays included are distinguished by the philosophical rigor and meticulous attention to the primary and secondary literature of the various topics discussed
Woodstock launched this project on lobbying in 1998 for three reasons. First, lobbying has grown exponentially during the past twenty years to exercise enormous influence on American politics. It has almost become a new profession in that time, and therefore deserves a new review and evaluation.
Second, lobbying has simultaneously fallen under suspicion and engendered critical resentment in some quarters. Its critics would say it supports "special" (i.e. narrow and well-funded) interests and is oblivious to the general well-being of our democratic life and process.
Third, reputable lobbyists have called, therefore, for a clarification of standards and principles for use within their own ranks and as an explanation to the general public of the goals, objectives, and methods of lobbying to forestall misunderstanding and misjudgment. This clarification would provide the lobbying profession with a normative statement parallel to the codes of conduct and ethical practice of the American Medical Association and the American Bar Association.
The commodification of science—often identified with commercialization, or the selling of expertise and research results and the “capitalization of knowledge” in academia and beyond—has been investigated as a threat to the autonomy of science and academic culture and criticized for undermining the social responsibility of modern science. In From Commodification to the Common Good, Hans Radder revisits the commodification of the sciences from a philosophical perspective to focus instead on a potential alternative, the notion of public-interest science. Scientific knowledge, he argues, constitutes a common good only if it serves those affected by the issues at stake, irrespective of commercial gain. Scrutinizing the theory and practices of scientific and technological patenting, Radder challenges the legitimacy of commercial monopolies and the private appropriation and exploitation of research results. His book invites us to reevaluate established laws and to question doctrines and practices that may impede or even prohibit scientific research and social progress so that we might achieve real and significant transformations in service of the common good.
Among politicians of national stature today, there is perhaps none more respected as a principled conservative than Rick Santorum. In It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, Santorum articulates the humane vision that he believes must inform public policy if it is to be effective and just. An appreciation for the civic bonds that unite a community lies at the heart of genuine conservatism. Moreover, Santorum demonstrates how such an approach to political, social, and economic problems offers the most promise for those on the margin of life: the poor, the vulnerable, and minorities who have often been excluded from opportunity in America.
Santorum argues that conservative statesmanship is animated by a sense of stewardship for an inheritance. But what do we inherit as Americans? And how can we be good stewards of that inheritance? Building on Robert Putnam’s discussion of “social capital,” the habits of association and trust that are the preconditions of any decent society, Santorum assesses how well, in the past generation, Americans have cared for the “fabric” of society. He explores in detail various dimensions of social and cultural connection that are the foundation of the common good. And he presents innovative policy proposals for the renewal of American society at all levels.
Throughout his book, Santorum emphasizes the central role of the family—in contradistinction to the metaphorical “village” of the federal government, as promoted by Hillary Clinton—in achieving the common good. With a sustained argument touching on first principles throughout, this ambitious and original book is a major contribution to contemporary political debate. It Takes a Family further establishes Santorum as the leader of reform-minded civic conservatives in America.
Is private ownership an inviolate right that individuals can wield as they see fit? Or is it better understood in more collective terms, as an institution that communities reshape over time to promote evolving goals? What should it mean to be a private landowner in an age of sprawling growth and declining biological diversity?
These provocative questions lie at the heart of this perceptive and wide-ranging new book by legal scholar and conservationist Eric Freyfogle. Bringing together insights from history, law, philosophy, and ecology, Freyfogle undertakes a fascinating inquiry into the ownership of nature, leading us behind publicized and contentious disputes over open-space regulation, wetlands protection, and wildlife habitat to reveal the foundations of and changing ideas about private ownership in America.
Drawing upon ideas from Thomas Jefferson, Henry George, and Aldo Leopold and interweaving engaging accounts of actual disputes over land-use issues, Freyfogle develops a powerful vision of what private ownership in America could mean—an ownership system, fair to owners and taxpayers alike, that fosters healthy land and healthy economies.
This book focuses on the referendums against water privatization in Italy and explores how activists took to social media, ultimately convincing twenty-seven million citizens to vote. Investigating the relationship between social movements and internet-related activism during complex campaigns, this book examines how a technological evolution — the increased relevance of social media platforms — affected in very different ways organizations with divergent characteristics, promoting at the same time decentralized communication practices, and new ways of coordinating dispersed communities of people.Matteo Cernison combines and adapts a wide set of methods, from social network analysis to digital ethnography, in order to explore in detail how digital activism and face-to-face initiatives interact and overlap. He argues that the geographical scale of actions, the role played by external media professionals, and the activists’ perceptions of digital technologies are key elements that contribute in a significant way to shape the very different communication practices often described as online activism.