More from an unpublished talk I presented at the 19th Annual Journal of Law and Religion Symposium at Hamline Law School in 2009.
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In Part I, I talked about the importance of “authenticity” and the risk of succumbing to “cheap prooftexting” when Jews bring their religious values to bear in public debate. While the general notion of “authenticity” is obviously also relevant to Christian interventions in public debate, it might seem at first glance that Christians need not worry about the more specific challenges facing Jews — especially the need to distinguish between religious law and religious exhortation and also between intra-group and universal norms. After all, most Christians, unlike Jews, do not treat law, with its rigor and limitations, as central to religious life. Nor do Christians, at first glance, seem to be caught up as Jews are in a tense polarity between particularism and universalism.
But I want to sketch an argument that, to the contrary, there is a lot of resonance between the two cases. Read more
William Woodyard and Chad G. Marzen (both of Florida State U.) have posted Is Greed Good? A Catholic Perspective on Modern Usury. The abstract follows.
In an era of increasing financial complexity, the Catholic legal and intellectual tradition offers not only a symbolic moral witness to the policy debates concerning lending, but a voice that offers real solutions to the problem of modern usury. The duty of those in the economic world to safeguard the weaker, more vulnerable parties in society as articulated by Pope Benedict XVI in Caritas in Veritate can best find its expression in vigorous adherence to the unconscionability doctrine of contract law. In addition, the Catholic legal and intellectual tradition promotes microcredit lending programs and community credit unions as strong economic alternatives to modern usury.
Jane Adolphe (Ave Maria School of Law) has posted New Challenges for Catholic-Inspired NGOs in Light of Caritas in Veritate. The abstract follows.
The non-governmental organization (NGO) is perceived not only as a disseminator of information, monitor of human rights, or provider of services, but also as a shaper of national, regional, and international policy. Many members of the lay faithful, working with others from various Christian denominations, have established NGOs to monitor and to promote the rights of the unborn, the natural family, and many other topics of common interest. These NGOs lobby at the national, regional, and international levels. This paper discusses the role of the Catholic-inspired NGO on the international level with reference to the thought of Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclical, Caritas in Veritate.