The Lonergan Review

Volume 11, 2020

At the Level of our Time

Jeremy D. Wilkins
Pages 13-35

Political Responsibility in Time of Civil War

In this article I propose to do five things. First, I describe the present confusion disturbing the tranquility of the American polity. Next, I hypothesize that an important source of civil confusion is that American civil discourse is generally conducted in two different moral languages. Neither of these is adequate to the reality of the human good, and their speakers are, perhaps increasingly, given to misunderstanding one another. Third, I propose some reasons why not only misunderstanding but even outright hostility seems to be growing. Fourth, I suggest that if we Christians are to be of genuine service to our fellow citizens, we have to begin by emancipating ourselves from inadequate moral languages and renew our capacity to function in a more properly Christian language. Finally, I suggest a possible contribution Christians might make to the renewal of civil discourse.