MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 23

Church, State, and Society in Catholic Social Teaching

The history of the development in 19th century Catholic social thought of the idea of society as a spiritual and cultural reality is one of the themes in this MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation with Dr. Russell Hittinger. In addition to the contribution of Pope Leo XIII and the revival of Thomistic thought to Catholic social thought, Hittinger also discusses the centrality of our ideas about marriage to our thinking about society, the limits of the idea of social contract, the effect of an increasing proportion of Muslims on European social thought, and how modern democracies have abandoned the project of understanding public life in moral terms. 60 minutes.

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    Russell Hittinger: “The French Revolution was a notorious experiment in absorbing society completely into the State. . . .”
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    “ . . . the Church accepted patronage from nobility and princes. As the centuries went on, these laity began to exact a price for this patronage . . .”
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    “ . . . because St. Thomas’s thought is very supple on questions of politics, law, and morality, when the Church gets into a crisis on these things, it’s ‘Dial 9-1-1 ST THOMAS . . .’”
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    “ . . . it’s relatively recent that our democracies have become allergic to any kind of normative moral discourse in the public square . . .”
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    “ . . . the crown of the Creation stories is a social form . . .”
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    “ . . . Leo XIII was a first-class intellect . . .”
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    “ . . . it seems like a reasonable solution to exclude from public discourse things that divide people . . .”
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    “ . . . modern Western societies require minorities to talk back in a way that’s not just outright refusal; Muslims are going to have to learn how to do this . . .”
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    Closing