Religion and the Common Good

Catholic Contributions to Building Community in a Liberal Society

By (author) Brian Stiltner

Publication date:

28 July 1999

Length of book:

212 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780847694358

The term Ocommon goodO has often been ill-defined or undefined in political, philosophical, and theological discourses. Brian Stiltner seeks to repair this deficit in his study Religion and the Common Good. He explores the meaning of the common good and the prospects for pursuing it in a liberal society. Focusing on the conceptions of common good in liberalism and communitarianism—the former stressing individual rights and social tolerance, the latter stressing a communityOs shared history and social practices—Stiltner argues that the two theories are not as irreconcilable as they seem, that they can be combined into a Ocommunal liberalism.O Stiltner provides an outline of the twentieth-century Catholic common good theory as an example of such a synthesis. A fascinating study, Religion and the Common Good will be an invaluable volume for scholars of social ethics, religion, theology, philosophy and political science.
Stiltner achieves a level of lucidity and clarity that untangles the complex philosophical issues surrounding the role of religion in promoting the common good. He provides an excellent layout of the essential terms and their lexical variants, as well as the competing philosophical claims and implications of the multi-faceted liberal-communitarian-Catholic dialogue of the common good. This book makes a significant contribution to the field of political philosophy by developing the unique resources within Roman Catholic social thought that can contribute to debates on religion's role in a contemporary liberal society.