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The Common Good of Constitutional Democracy

Essays in Political Philosophy and on Catholic Social Teaching
  • By Martin Rhonheimer, William F., Jr. Murphy

The Common Good of Constitutional Democracy offers a rich collection of essays in political philosophy by Swiss philosopher Martin Rhonheimer. Like his other books in both ethical theory and applied ethics, which have recently been published in English, the essays included are distinguished by the philosophical rigor and meticulous attention to the primary and secondary literature of the various topics discussed.

Rhonheimer takes up the unfinished agenda of the Second Vatican Council's Decree on Religious Liberty, Dignitatis humanae, and makes many significant philosophical contributions relating the Catholic tradition to modern and contemporary political philosophy. He begins with an argument for why political philosophy is necessary, especially in light of the democratic constitutional state and the culture of human rights. He addresses many disputed questions, including ones about autonomy, the common good, secularism, multiculturalism, the relationship between authority and truth in civil law, and the role of the state in the economic sector. In so doing, Rhonheimer engages the entire tradition from ancients like Plato and Aristotle through contemporaries including Rawls, MacIntyre, and Taylor.

The volume includes a detailed introduction by William F. Murphy Jr., locating this collection in Rhonheimer's broader body of work and within the field of political philosophy. This book will be an invaluable resource for Catholic philosophers, moral theologians, political philosophers, and other religious thinkers looking for philosophical resources to relate their traditions to the modern state.


Martin Rhonheimer is professor of ethics and political philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. His publications number a dozen books, including several translations into many languages. The Common Good of Constitutional Democracy was brought into English by William F. Murphy Jr., professor of moral theology at the Pontifical College Josephinum, and editor of the Josephinum Journal of Theology.


"The Common Good of Constitutional Democracy is a tour de force in Catholic practical philosophy. Rhonheimer aptly blends philosophy and theology in a way commended by Blessed John Paul II who argued in his 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio that the best (Christian) theorizing takes place when theological insights are developed from sound philosophical orientations." -Journal of Markets and Morality

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    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9780813220093
    • Manufacturer: Catholic Univ Of Amer Pr
    • Language of Text: English
    • ISBN 13: 9780813220093
    • Publication Date: 01/01/2013
    • Format: Paperback
    • Author: Martin Rhonheimer
    • Author: William F., Jr. Murphy
    • Page Count: 535
    • Width: 6.03 inches
    • Height: 1.32 inches
    • Length: 9.05 inches
    • Weight: 1.65 pounds
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