Religious traditions in the United States are characterized by ongoing tension between assimilation to the broader culture and defiant rejection of cultural incursions. However, legal theorist and Catholic theologian Cathleen Kaveny contends there is a third possibility - a culture of engagement - that accommodates and respects tradition. It also recognizes the need to interact with culture to remain relevant and to offer critiques of social, political, legal, and economic practices. Focusing on five broad areas of interest - Law as a Teacher, Religious Liberty and Its Limits, Conversations about Culture, Conversations about Belief, and Cases and Controversies - Kaveny demonstrates how thoughtful and purposeful engagement can contribute to rich, constructive, and difficult discussions between moral and cultural traditions. This provocative collection of Kaveny's articles from Commonweal magazine, substantially revised and updated from their initial publication, provides astonishing insight into a range of hot-button issues like abortion, assisted suicide, government-sponsored torture, contraception, the Ashley Treatment, capital punishment, and the role of religious faith in a pluralistic society.
The book is published by Georgetown University Press.
"Cathy Kaveny is, simultaneously, one of our country's most important religious intellectuals and one of our most rigorous legal scholars. A Culture of Engagement is a superb introduction to her thought." (EJ Dionne Jr., Brookings Institute)
"This is a bold and brilliant engagement with the fundamental questions of faith, freedom, and family." (John Witte, Jr., Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University)
"This collection helps solidify Professor Kaveny's role as one of American Catholicism's leading public intellectuals." (David P. Gushee, Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life, Mercer University