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Democracy, Culture, CatholicismVoices from Four Continents$
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Michael J. Schuck and John Crowley-Buck

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267309

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267309.001.0001

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“First Be Reconciled”: Restorative Justice and Deliberative Democracy

“First Be Reconciled”: Restorative Justice and Deliberative Democracy

(p.249) “First Be Reconciled”: Restorative Justice and Deliberative Democracy
Democracy, Culture, Catholicism

William R. O’Neill

Fordham University Press

Bill O’Neill offers a provocative philosophical and theological reflection on the ‘moral squint’ of restorative justice—which he links tightly with the Catholic Social Teaching—in deliberative democracy. O’Neill argues that restorative justice, as opposed to the forms of retributive justice that predominate in the American penal system (embodied in the contemporary phenomenon of mass incarceration), more justly and more comprehensively attends, first and foremost, to the victims of violence, but, secondarily, it also attends to the perpetrators of violence (many of whom, often enough, are themselves victims of personal and/or systematic violence). O’Neill make the theological turn to the narratives of Christian ethics—particularly to the story of the Good Samaritan—to stress the call made to all persons to act toward others, not simply retributively, but in a way that restores their human rights and their dignity.

Keywords:   Catholic Social Teaching (CST), Christian ethics, deliberative democracy, dignity, Good Samaritan, human rights, mass incarceration, moral squint, restorative justice, retributive justice

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