Advancing the Culture of Life Through Faithful Citizenship

Journal of Religion and Society, 2008

41 Pages Posted: 14 May 2008

See all articles by Teresa Stanton Collett

Teresa Stanton Collett

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)


This article provides a brief summary of the principles that should guide Catholics in their political decision making and illustrates the application of those principles to our obligation to build a culture of life within a civilization of love. The first section of this article discusses human nature and the obligation to do good and avoid evil. The concepts of freedom, truth, good and evil are defined and their relationship briefly discussed. Section two of the article introduces Catholic political theory regarding the citizen's right and duty to participate in democracy and the limited role of the state in advancing the good of the human person and the human community. Section Three provides a sketch of American constitutional law regarding life issues. Section Four disputes the claim advanced by some Catholics that a candidate's views on abortion is irrelevant because ordinary citizens can not influence an issue that the courts have declared to be a matter of constitutional law. The article concludes with an examination of the potential impact of faithful citizens in building a culture of life through involvement in national and state politics.

Keywords: Culture of life, abortion, sanctity of human life, Catholic legal theory, Catholicism and the law, religion and the law, religion and politics, Catholic political theory

Suggested Citation

Collett, Teresa Stanton, Advancing the Culture of Life Through Faithful Citizenship. Journal of Religion and Society, 2008, Available at SSRN:

Teresa Stanton Collett (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2015
United States

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