Robin W. Lovin


In his classic essays in We Hold These Truths, John Courtney Murray developed an understanding of “the American proposition” that integrated a theological account of human good with the search for public consensus in a constitutional democracy. While this understanding of the relationship between religious freedom and political life was incorporated into Catholic social teaching at the Second Vatican Council, subsequent developments in both political theory and theology call Murray’s understanding of public discourse into question. This essay examines these challenges and argues that Murray’s reconciliation of moral truth and political choice is still an important resource for discussion of religious freedom and other moral issues in today’s polarized politics.

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