From Publishers Weekly
In this collection of 12 previously published essays, each revised considerably for this volume, noted Catholic pundit Weigel (Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope
) ranges provocatively over a diverse selection of topics from social justice and abortion to atheism and just war. Underlying many of the essays is the idea of Christians as resident aliens in modern democracies who must, by their very callings, live in the world but not be of the world. As he observes, sometimes Christians may feel more like residents when their views of justice or compassion are more compatible with the world's views (as in Vatican II), but many times they will feel more like aliens (as during the Nazi regime) because their call to justice conflicts directly with that of the reigning political powers. Weigel points out that the Church can best influence public policy when it is a community of faith and love that emphasizes the flourishing of the individual over the success of a totalitarian state. While Weigel's deeply considered reflections on the Iraq War as a just war are certain to provoke reaction among his critics, his thoughtful essays on democracy and religion offer new insights into the meaning of Catholic social doctrines for the 21st century. (Apr.)
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"Highly recommended for public and academic libraries. This 'against the grain' vision of politics, economics, and human dignity should shed much light on the thinking of today’s informed and religiously conservative Catholics." Library Journal
"Weigel’s learned, clearly written, and tightly argued essays stand as the best evidence for his claim that the Christian tradition is indispensable for any serious discussion of the challenges facing our country." City Journal