The Global Face of Public Faith by David Hollenbach
Publication Date: 2003-10-09
The Global Face of Public Faith addresses the hotly debated question of the role religion should play in politics in both the American and international contexts. It engages the fears that public religion threatens American democracy and could lead to a global clash of civilizations and new wars of religion. It analyzes how Christianity can attain common ground with other religious communities, thus becoming a force for peace and human rights. The separation of church from state need not mean the privatization of religion. Religious engagement in public life can strengthen civic life by encouraging active citizen participation that promotes both justice and peace. The question of religion and politics should thus become an argument about how faith becomes public, not whether it does. Religious communities, Christianity in particular, should be vigorous advocates of human rights, democratic governance, and economic development worldwide. In so doing, they will also become peacemakers. David Hollenbach is a calm voice of reason in a chaotic world, with an eye that sees beyond national horizons to where human needs and human rights converge. He is convinced that religious traditions can find common ground--through the use of rights and rights language. The Global Face of Public Faith reinforces his commitment to confronting such issues as poverty and economic development, globalism, and interreligious dialogue. He focuses here on faith and the Catholic tradition in politics; the role of the church in American public life; and the wider issues of global challenges and ethics--in a search for a common set of moral standards and a international ethic through a commitment to universal human rights. While not denying the difficulties of forging such a consensus, he nonetheless sees the possibility for justice, and reasons for hope. And hope is something the world can always use.