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Church and SocietyThe Laurence J. McGinley Lectures, 1988-2007$
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Avery Cardinal Dulles

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228621

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228621.001.0001

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Religion and the Transformation of Politics

Religion and the Transformation of Politics

October 6, 1992

(p.116) 9 Religion and the Transformation of Politics
Church and Society

Avery Cardinal Dulles

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines the influence of religion on politics. It looks at the influence of the Church on the political order at three distinct levels: that of particular policy issues, that of Catholic social teaching, and that of personal religion. Taking these three areas in order, it considers the role of the Church with regard to each. The chapter holds that the political order is not self-sufficient. It cannot succeed without a morally good society, and morality cannot be firmly established in the absence of religious faith. It concludes that the Church, even without directly intervening in the political process, can make a major contribution to the political order by shaping the ideas and habits of the persons who constitute the society, making them morally and spiritually capable of responsible self-government.

Keywords:   religion, politics, policy issues, Catholic teaching, personal religion

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