Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Clash Of Orthodoxies: Law Religion & Morality In Crisis Paperback – November 1, 2002
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
"...George has done a great service in demonstrating that traditional morality still has an authoritative role to play...." -- The Weekly Standard, February 11, 2002
"Clash of Orthodoxies...is an excellent, scholarly presentation of the natural-law way of getting at hot issues such as abortion." -- World, March 23, 2002
"Robert P. George is one of the most incisive legal and moral thinkers working today..." -- First Things
"The Clash of Orthodoxies is...dedicated to exploring the intricacies of the issues...and dealing fully with the opposing views." -- National Review, February 25, 2002 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
It is a common supposition among many of our cultural elites that a constitutional "wall of separation" between church and state precludes religious believers from bringing their beliefs to bear on public matters. This is because secular liberals typically assume that their own positions on morally charged issues of public policy are the fruit of pure reason, while those of their morally conservative opponents reflect an irrational religious faith. In The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion, and Morality in Crisis, Princeton political theorist Robert P. George shows that this supposition is wrong on both counts. Challenging liberalism's claim to represent the triumph of reason, George argues that on controversial issues like embryonic stem-cell research, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage, traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs are actually rationally superior to secular liberal alternatives. Drawing on the natural law philosophical tradition, George demolishes various secularist pretenses, such as the notion that the very young and very old among us are somehow subpersonal and not worthy of full legal protection. He reveals the dubious person-body dualism implicit in secularist arguments, and he demonstrates the flawed reasoning behind the idea that the state ought to be neutral regarding competing understandings of the nature and value of marriage. George also revisits the controversy surrounding his participation in the First Things "End of Democracy?" symposium, in which he considered the relevance of Catholic teachings regarding the legitimacy of political regimes to the contemporary American situation. George argues that because natural law and natural rights doctrine lie at the foundation of the American republic, the judicial reading of the Constitution that has undermined democracy in order to enshrine the secularist agenda is deeply flawed. In advancing his thesis, George argues for a return to old-fashioned liberalism, a worldview that he claims is best exemplified by Pope John Paul II, whose teachings laud democracy, religious liberty, and economic freedom while also recognizing the demands of civil rights, social and economic justice, and the principle of subsidiarity. These demands restrain Catholics--and indeed all people of faith--from making personal freedom an absolute, and George takes to task those political leaders who, though believers, have denied or ignored the political responsibility this entails. The Clash of Orthodoxies is a profoundly important contribution to our contemporary national conversation about the proper role of religion in politics. The lucid and persuasive prose of Robert George, one of America's most prominent public intellectuals, will shock secular liberals out of an unwarranted complacency and provide powerful ammunition for embattled defenders of traditional morality. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
"...It was the majority justices' undefended moral presuppositions about contraception, and not anything they could actually find in the Constitution's protections of bedrooms and other private places, that accounts for their sweeping decision."
As much as I agree with the conclusion, I don't think you need a law degree to figure that one out! On the other hand, Mr. George presents some wonderful insights on a host of moral issues, especially when he turns to bioethics-an area in which he claims no expertise whatsoever.
Among the many great ideas he develops, I found these particularly helpful:
1. His demonstration that so-called "private" morals have public consequences: A convincing rebuttal to those who insist on "doing their own thing."
2. His exploration of the Judeo-Christian concept of the unity of mind, body and spirit and the dualistic view of man that characterizes the secular attitude. It reveals much about the trains of thought that lead to irreconcilable differences on issues such as abortion and pornography.
3. His account of the history of American bishops since Vatican II. He explains how the Church squandered so much of its influence on moral issues. He shows how the bishops, by meddling in politics with specific policy recommendations, not only obscured Church moral teachings, they provided enemies of the Church with a pretext for ignoring those moral teachings: In effect, the Bishops caused most Americans to perceive the Church as just another interest group.
Despite the depressing tone-the wide gulf that separates secular and religious thinking, the enormous stakes involved in this clash of orthodoxies-George ends on a positive note. He calls on Catholics to unite with Evangelical Protestants (and others) to form a political bloc for life. Perhaps this will lead to an even broader unity among people who value life in absolute terms.
There is one problem with "The Clash of Orthodoxies," however. No, it's not ideological (though I'm not in lock step agreement with the good professor); it's stylistic. Professor George's writing is typical of academics: long and convoluted sentences, replete with recondite observations, parenthetical asides and qualifiers, and gratuitous adverbs, adjectives, and "big" words unknown to 98% of even the literate public. I suggest that the professor take a gander at Father Rutler's "A Crisis of Saints." He addresses the same issues as Professor George, but in language that is both elegant and accessible.
Still, I heartily recommend "The Clash of Orthodoxies," and hope that it will have a wide and profound influence.
Brave man to even write and put the spotlight on the clash that exists againt Christian values in our American society (oh, and we are exporting our errors in the name of "freedom" "rights" ... just as long as "they" are not christian or based on any natural law!!)....