Catholics and Evangelicals for the Common Good: A Dialogue in an Historic Convergence
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For centuries, evangelical Protestants and Catholics have hurled harsh epithets at each other. But that has changed dramatically in the last forty years. In 1960, many prominent evangelicals opposed John Kennedy for president because he was a Catholic. Today, Catholics and evangelicals work together on many issues of public policy.
This book records one important process in this transformation. In 2004, the board of The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE–the largest representative body of evangelicals in the US) unanimously approved For the Health of the Nation as the official public policy document for its public policy efforts representing 30 million evangelicals. When scholars read this new ground-breaking document, they quickly realized there was a widespread agreement between the NAE’s official public policy document and the official public policy positions of American Catholics. The result was a series of annual meetings held at Georgetown University and Eastern University that brought together prominent Catholic and Evangelical scholars and public policy specialists to explore the extent of the common ground. This book reports on that dialogue–and its contribution to the increasing Catholic-evangelical cooperation.
“While many today are familiar with the new, more positive relationship developing between Roman Catholics and evangelicals, few have expected to find convergence in the areas of justice and social policy. This collection of essays, edited by Ronald Sider and John Borelli, shows how the two communities are learning from each other in their efforts to address the common good. It’s both an honest exploration and a sign of hope.”
–Thomas P. Rausch, Emeritus T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology, Loyola Marymount University
“Catholics and Evangelicals for the Common Good brilliantly weave theological reflection with political and religious history to articulate the challenges now confronting both communities in the public square. Every essay acutely analyzes the present by way of turning our attention to the future. Dialogue is admirable, but social action is essential. Here are gathered doers of the word and not merely hearers. This volume offers not to sound bites and slogans, but moral guidance and intellectual nourishment.”
–E. J. Dionne Jr., Professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture, Georgetown University
“Here is a collection of principled essays written by leading Catholic and evangelical scholars seeking to find common ground on some of the most pressing and divisive issues of our time. This volume is needed, rare, and welcomed. I commend it to thoughtful Christians everywhere.”
–Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University
John Borelli is Special Assistant for Catholic Identity and Dialogue to the President of Georgetown University, a position he has held since 2004. He served sixteen years at the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Ronald J. Sider is a Distinguished Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry, and Public Policy at Palmer Seminary at Eastern University and the President Emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action.