What human ends are served by our economic policies? To whom is what “owed” in our country today? Is there an acceptable argument for just wars – or for the proliferation of nuclear weapons? In the final years of the Reagan era, The U.S. Catholic bishops emerged as articulate sources of dissenting wisdom, publicly testing our foreign and domestic policies against the principles of morality and humanity. With the same succinct style of Liberation Theology, Phillip Berryman analyzes two recent and widely circulated texts: the 1982 Challenge of Peace (on nuclear arms) and the 1986 Economic Justice For All.
Drawing on debate in and beyond church circles over these letters, Berryman argues that as we search for acceptable answers to urgent political questions we must use ethical and moral traditions if we are to confront them squarely. Only then can we promote peace and prosperity for all.
Phillip Berryman was a pastoral worker in a barrio in Panama during 1965-73, the years in which the new liberation theology and pastoral practice in Latin America were taking shape. From 1976 to 1980, as Central American representative for the… More about Phillip Berryman
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Published by Pantheon Feb 20, 2013| 208 Pages| ISBN 9780307831644
“In Our Unfinished Business, Berryman not only explains the content of the pastoral letters, which others have done, but more importantly situates them within two different spectra—that of contemporary U.S. political thought and that of contemporary Catholic theological thought. In doing so, he uses the pastorals to illuminate masterfully both our present crossroads and the challenge confronting the bishops: developing an Episcopal consensus capable of grounding a moral teaching sufficiently clear and compelling to lead a nation.” —Christine Gudorf, Xavier University