McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Catholic social teaching, Ethics, Justice, Lisa Sowle Cahill
This dissertation explores the role of justice in the writings of Catholic ethicist Lisa Sowle Cahill. Since 1990, Cahill has supported theological voices participating in the public forum, which she describes as a meeting ground for diverse intellectual and religious traditions. Good argumentation is necessary but not sufficient to resolve ethical dilemmas within the politically liberal context in which Cahill makes her claims. Instead, her commitment to justice underwrites those narratives and practices which demand one's fullest possible participation in contributing toward the common good. Cahill's notion of justice develops correlatively to the degree that she integrates the principles of Catholic Social Teaching into her project. The dissertation describes this expansion in Cahill's later essays as "collaborative justice." The dissertation concludes with an examination of her writings on human genetic engineering as a potential application of collaborative justice. Cahill's strong arguments can be helpful in steering the process toward less-harmful outcomes. In doing so, Cahill's principles of collaborative justice look beyond act-focused considerations of Catholic ethics or the procedural justice of liberal traditions, and leaves open the possibility of reconciliation should such future genetic intervention prove undesirable.
Feltwell, D. (2013). Collaborative Justice: An Analysis of the Use of "Justice" in the Writings of Lisa Sowle Cahill (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/534