In Search of the Common Good

eds. by Dennis McCann and Patrick D. Miller. New York: T & T Clark International, 2005. 360 pp.

This collection focuses on the meaning of the common good and what resources Christian theology, biblical studies, and ethics might contribute to our understanding of it. The rationale for the discussion is ultimately theological. Whether under the formal rubric of "common good" discourse or not, the meaning of a commitment to community and the duties and claims of the individual related to the community have never been more pressing concerns. We must recognize that the thinking about the common good is intrinsic to the very character of Christian faith and the ethos it invokes. The biblical vision is in a most profound way a vision of the common good. Whether expressed in notions of justice and mercy, the care of the weak, covenantal living, or the new Jerusalem, the meaning of being human and living with the neighbor are so intrinsically bound together that there is no escaping involvement in the search for the common good in our time. Table of Content:

Part I: Biblical Dimensions

  • Introduction / Jacqueline Lapsley

  • "That It May Go Well With You": The Commandments and the Common Good / Patrick D. Miller

  • "When Mercy Seasons Justice": Jonah and the Common Good / Jacqueline Lapsley

  • Uncommon Love and the Common Good: Christians as Citizens in the Letters of Paul / Victor Paul Furnish

Part II: Classical Voices

  • Introduction / Jean Porter

  • The Common Good in Thomas Aquinas / Jean Porter

  • The Common Good in Catholic Social Teaching: A Case Study in Modernization / Dennis P. Mccann

  • Public Discourse And Common Good / Robin W. Lovin

Part III: Whose Good? Whose Commons?

  • Introduction / Josiah Young

  • It Takes a Community – or at Least an Association / C. Eric Mount Jr.

  • A Rose by Any Other Name?: Deconstructing the Essence Of "Common" / Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan

  • "Good Is Knowing When to Stop": Dénucléation and the End Of Privilege / Josiah Young

  • Common Good in Performance / Milner S. Ball

Part IV: Community, Society, And Politics

  • Introduction: Community, Society, and Politics / James W. Skillen

  • "The Common Good" as Political Norm / James W. Skillen

  • The Common Good, Our Commons Goods, and The Uncommon Good in a Globalizing Era / Max W. Stackhouse

  • Killing for the Telephone Company: Why the Nation-State Is Not the Keeper of the Common Good / William T. Cavanaugh

  • The Triunity of Common Good / Robert W. Jenson