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Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life Paperback – August 4, 2009
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–Very Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., president, the Catholic University of America
“This isn’t just a book for Catholics; it’s for anyone who cares about the state of America’s soul.”
–John L. Allen Jr., NCR and CNN senior Vatican correspondent
“Using arguments from history as well as the wisdom of the world’s greatest thinkers, Archbishop Chaput urges Catholics to live our faith without compromise and to use our faith as the foundation for renewing American society in the twenty-first century. His tone is one of ‘now or never,’ and his presentation is crisp, intelligent, and accessible to a wide audience. This is an important book for Catholics to read and consider if we are truly to make a difference in the public square. Archbishop Chaput has made a unique and significant contribution to the Church and the nation at a time when voices like his are needed to be raised and heard.”
—Very Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., President, The Catholic University of America
“At a time when the ‘faith and values’ vote has never been more important, Archbishop Charles Chaput deftly explores the intersection of morality, reason, and politics. This isn’t just a book for Catholics, but for anyone who cares about the state of America’s soul —and how that concern might shape the 2008 elections.”
—John L. Allen Jr., NCR and CNN senior Vatican correspondent --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
In his excellent Render Unto Caesar, Archbishop Charles Chaput invites Christian readers (and especially Roman Catholic ones) to rethink this position. The heart of Chaput's thesis is nicely expressed toward the end of the book. Drawing upon the long tradition of Catholic social teachings, Chaput argues that the Church as an institution and the individual Christian as a follower of Christ have the obligation to speak truth to power. This doesn't mean that he endorses either a theocracy or a government controlled by Christians. It does mean that the Church and her members live up to their prophetic calling as ambassadors of the Prince of Peace. As Chaput writes toward the end of his book,
"The Church claims no right to dominate the secular realm. But she has every right - in fact an obligation - to engage secular authority and to challenge those wielding it to live the demands of justice. In this sense, the Catholic Church cannot stay, has never stayed, and never will stay 'out of politics.' Politics involves the exercise of power. The use of power has moral content and human consequences. And the well-being and destiny of the human person is very much the concern, and the special competence, of the Christian community" (pp. 217-18).Read more ›
Charles J. Chaput, OFM Capuchin, is the Archbishop of Denver. Of Canadian and Native American ancestry, he is noted as a conservative and a fierce defender of the Catholic Faith. In RENDER UNTO CAESAR, he reminds American Catholics that they cannot be individuals who remain isolated in their faith. Faithful Citizenship demands that they form their consciences in accordance with the truth in order to make sound moral choices in public life as well as private worship.Read more ›
In any event Archbishop Chaput has a timely and excellent book, with the sub-title "Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political life".
It's timely, of course, because we are now in the political season, and the controversy continues about the role of religious belief and practice in the public arena.
And it is excellent, as Chaput lays out an approach for religious people in general and Catholics in particular, to weigh in on the great issues of the day. The book is a quick read, at 235 pages and 12 chapters. Each chapter is peppered with historic examples and backed up by biblical quotes and church teachings.
Here are some examples: chapter three titled "Why We're Here" starts with a brief analysis of Victor Frankl's classic book "Man's Search for Meaning" and then discusses the role of the Church and Catholic laity in bringing Catholic values into the arena of public ideas.
Chapter seven is entitled "What Went Wrong" and offers 21 pages about the reforms and problems which arose from Vatican II, with Chaput feeling that some reforms did not go far enough and others were hijacked by people with their own agenda.
Chapter nine is entitled "A Man for All Seasons" as Chaput discusses the jurist and advisor to Henry the VIIIth, St. Thomas More.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Certainly puts Christian history in perspective, drawing corollaries to our present circumstances. An easy and enjoyable read for me, probably for you too.Published 3 days ago by Kafte
I must say, if you want a guidebook for real, authentic Catholic thought in politics, this is it. Hands-down, this is one of the best books I've ever read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christian Matozzo
A must read for faithful Catholics. Written in 2008, the book highlights American founding principles and challenges Catholics and others to live out their faith in the public... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
A brilliantly written tome ti explain tthe true relationship between faith and public service.Published 6 months ago by Geoffrey C Davis III
The rights of orthodox Christians are slipping away in the United States and Canada. Not only are we losing key battles but our voices are being silenced in the public square. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Charles Lewis
I read the whole book in a few days, very helpful to get people motivated to love their neighbor via the political system.Published 13 months ago by Bob Marshall
Great way to understand the division of church and state but maintain your morals in office. The way our country was foundedPublished 18 months ago by Barn