Synopses & Reviews
"What if God has his own ways that are not always our ways? What if God acts in public affairs in ways that can, of course, be ignored from day to day but at a price for individuals and whole societies? If God is an actor, how is it possible to trace his action? . . . Can we discover God’s actions in the part of human experience that is public in our day?" —Francis Cardinal George
In this bracing manifesto, His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, one of the leading Catholic intellectuals in America today, provides refreshing insight into the intersection of faith and the public sphere. Finding both challenges and reasons for hope, he lays out a vision for national life that respects natural law, human dignity, and the essential ways religion uniquely contributes to the common good.
In our country today, the significance of religious faith is often reduced to personal spiritual convictions or peculiar ideas found within self-contained churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques. Yet, as Cardinal George argues, it is God acting through humanity that is the very root of the core ideals that shape society. In the process, a moral framework is built that allows life to flourish. Consequently, he calls for resistance to creeping ideas that seek to deny religious organizations the freedom to act on their convictions and, thus, shutting voices of faith out of the public square on culture-defining issues.
Moreover, Cardinal George calls for a fundamental reevaluation of questions surrounding human rights, religious liberty, respect for life, just war, commerce, immigration, and globalization. In turn, he points out a clear path that respects individual conscience while integrating faith and natural law into the public conversation on our shared future.
An important book for challenging times, God in Action presents a universal message rooted in the Catholic philosophical tradition that is impossible to ignore.
"In The Difference God Makes, his earlier collection of essays, George, the archbishop of Chicago, tended to explain Catholicism from the 'inside out'-that is, starting with the faith as it should apply to Catholics in today's world. His newest collection is also characteristically thought provoking, but here he takes an 'outside-in' approach. The cardinal looks at hot-button issues in modern life - personal freedom, sexuality, war and peace, capitalism and Christianity, immigration - and divines the mind of God in order to provide a guide for playing a role in the public square. 'Can we discover God's actions in the part of human experience that is public in our day?' he asks. This is a book-length answer in the affirmative. Until last year, George was the elected leader of the American hierarchy, and he remains a major figure for U.S. Catholics. But this book can appeal to readers of any faith. And if it is likely to resonate most with cultural conservatives, its challenges should discomfit partisans of every stripe.
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About the Author
FRANCIS CARDINAL GEORGE, O.M.I., is the archbishop of Chicago. He has served as vicar general of his religious order, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and was the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2007 through 2010. Cardinal George was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in 1998.