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Finding God in All ThingsCelebrating Bernard Lonergan, John Courtney Murray, and Karl Rahner$
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Mark Bosco and David Stagaman

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228089

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228089.001.0001

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9. Murray: Faithful to Tradition in Context

9. Murray: Faithful to Tradition in Context

(p.109) 9. Murray: Faithful to Tradition in Context
Finding God in All Things

Thomas Hughson

Fordham University Press

This chapter explores John Courtney Murray's relationship between the American experience and the legacy of Roman Catholic political thought. It first shows how Murray's Catholic, natural-law style of moral theology overlapped with the Enlightenment deism of the Founding Fathers. What Murray foregrounded through both his scholarship and his participation at the Second Vatican Council was the richness of the Anglo-American legacy of constitutionalism, a legacy seemingly unknown to the Catholic world of Latin Europe and certainly missing from Leo XIII's 1901 encyclical Graves de Communi Re on Christian democracy. The chapter argues that it is time to retrieve Murray's vision for the Catholic Church today, especially in terms of the relationship between church and state, and the distinction of the moral and legal orders that must be weighed in a pluralistic state. Murray believed that conscience should always be protected in this tension, not because freedom is its own reward, but because conscience is the point where the gospel and political life meet and interact.

Keywords:   John Courtney Murray, political thought, moral theology, Second Vatican Council, constitutionalism, Leo XIII, Catholic Church, conscience

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