A Nation for All How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America from the Politics of Division

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How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America from the Politics of Division
A Nation for All

On the eve of the most important presidential election in decades, A NATION FOR ALL sounds the trumpet to the tens of millions of U.S. Catholics who have refused to buy the notion that people of faith must subscribe to the narrow agenda of the far right. By shining the light of authentic Catholic teaching on pressing contemporary concerns like war, human dignity, poverty, and the looming global climate crisis, this book shows Catholics how their own faith tradition calls them to tackle a sweeping array of issues commonly left out of the faith and politics dialog. Most important, A NATION FOR ALL demonstrates how the core Catholic and Christian belief in promoting the common good can provide Americans of all faith traditions with a much-needed solution to the downward spiral of greed, materialism, and excessive individualism.

  • Foreword by Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • 1. The Common Good 1
    • Origins of the Common Good 3
    • A Catholic Vision of the Common Good 4
    • Restoring the Common Good 9
    • Challenges to the Common Good 9
    • Building a Culture of the Common Good 10
    • Rebuilding the Common Good for Our Families, Jobs, and Environment 14
  • 2. The Catholic Social Tradition 19
    • Surprising or Familiar? 20
    • Key Themes of the Catholic Social Tradition 23
    • The Dignity of the Human Person 24
    • The Common Good 24
    • Solidarity 25
    • Subsidiarity 25
    • The Preferential Option for the Poor 26
    • The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers 26
    • Rights, Responsibilities, Participation 27
    • Universal Destination of Goods 27
    • Stewardship of God's Creation 28
    • Peace 28
    • Popes and Principles 29
    • TheWorkers' Pope: Leo XIII 29
    • The Social Justice Pope: Pius XI 31
    • A Pope for the Common Good: John XXIII 32
    • Engaging the World: Vatican II 33
    • The Human Development Pope: Paul VI 34
    • The Life and Social Justice Pope: John Paul II 35
    • The Pope of Love and Hope: Benedict XVI 37
    • Living the Catholic Social Tradition 39
  • 3. Church and State 43
    • The Truth About Separation 46
    • A Place for Faith 48
    • The Importance of Compromise 51
    • Church and State in the Catholic Tradition 53
    • Political Compromise and the Culture of Life 57
  • 4. Voting Catholic 65
    • Catholics and the Religious Right 67
    • Theology and the Politics of Division 73
    • Voting for the Common Good 78
    • Inform Your Conscience 79
    • Use Prudence 79
    • Vote for the Common Good 80
    • Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship 81
  • 5. An Agenda for the Common Good 83
    • Poverty: The Root of All Problems 86
    • Abortion 92
    • The Global Climate Crisis 96
    • Health Care 98
    • War 100
    • Immigration 102
  • 6. Practicing the Common Good 105
    • Conviction or Cowardice? 109
    • Civility or Destruction? 112
    • Compromise or Disengagement? 115
    • Persuasion or Coercion? 118
    • Faith, Politics, and the Future of America 119
    • Resources on Catholic Social Teaching and the Common Good 12
    • Election Day Checklist 137
  • The Authors 139
  • Index 141
Format: Paperback book
Product code: IC486375
Dimensions: 9" x 6"
Length: 176 pages
ISBN: 978-1-118-48637-5
Written by Chris Korzen, Alexia Kelley, and Robert P Casey


Alexia Kelley and Chris Korzen brilliantly bring alive the Common Good tradition not only because they understand it from the inside out, but also because they are deeply informed by their own efforts to do the hard work of justice. A Nation for All is a wise book that reminds Catholics of the astonishing relevance of their church's social teaching and offers Catholics and non-Catholics alike a genuinely fresh approach to healing the politics of division.
E.J. Dionne Jr., senior fellow at Brookings Institution; University Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University; and author, Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right
In the divided state of American politics, an agenda of 'the common good' presents a clear and compelling vision for our future.With its history of the Catholic social tradition and its public policy ideas for today, A Nation for All persuasively offers that vision. I am an evangelical convert to Catholic social teaching, and this book by Korzen and Kelley is one of the best presentations I've seen. This book should be read by everyone seeking a society that works for the benefit of all of us, not just some of us.
Jim Wallis, author, The Great Awakening, and president, Sojourners
While this book is guided by deeply Catholic principles, Americans of all faith traditions will draw inspiration from its powerful call: to build a culture, economy, and politics in which everyone, rich and poor, has a place at the table, and everyone has a voice.
Sr. Helen Prejean, C.S.J., author, Dead Man Walking and Death of Innocents
This book effectively challenges the politics of division by encouraging a creative commitment to the tradition of Catholic social thought.
William J. Byron, S.J., past president, University ofScranton and the Catholic University of America, and author, Individuarian Observations: Essays in Catholic Social Reflection


Chris Korzen is co-founder and executive director of Catholics United. He served as executive director of the Catholic Voting Project in 2004 and 2005 after working as an organizer with the Service Employees International Union and Pax Christi USA.

Alexia Kelley is a principal founder and executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. She has served in diverse capacities with nongovernmental organizations committed to poverty reduction, social justice, and the environment. For nearly a decade, she worked in media, outreach, and development at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the Catholic Church's national anti-poverty program.