Recipient of the National Humanities Medal, Robert N. Bellah is Elliott Professor of Sociology Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley. Richard Madsen is Professor of Sociology, University of California, San Diego. William M. Sullivan is Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Ann Swidler is Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley. Steven M. Tipton is Professor of Sociology and Religion at Emory University and the Candler School of Theology.
Rising inequality has attracted a great deal of attention in recent years from scholars and politicians, but the moral dimensions of inequality tend to be ignored. Is inequality morally acceptable? Is it morally permissible to allow practices and systems that contribute to inequality? Is there an ethical obligation to try to alleviate inequality, and if so, who is obligated to take that action?
This book addresses these and similar questions not through a single lens of morality but through a comparative study of ethical traditions, both secular and religious, Western and non-Western. The moral and political traditions considered are: liberalism, Marxism, natural law, feminism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and Confucianism. The types of inequality examined include property, natural resources, products, wealth, income, jobs, and taxation. The editors open the book with an introduction providing information on contemporary dimensions of the problem of economic inequality, and the book concludes with a summary of the perspectives represented.
Economic Inequality and Morality is unusual in that it addresses similarities and differences on the questions of inequality within and across moral traditions. Authors of the individual studies answer a common set of topic-related questions, giving the reader a broad perspective on how a broad range of traditions view and respond to inequality.
In Healing the Heart of Democracy, Parker J. Palmer quickens our instinct to seek the common good and gives us the tools to do it. This timely, courageous and practical work—intensely personal as well as political—is not about them, "those people" in Washington D.C., or in our state capitals, on whom we blame our political problems. It's about us, "We the People," and what we can do in everyday settings like families, neighborhoods, classrooms, congregations and workplaces to resist divide-and-conquer politics and restore a government "of the people, by the people, for the people."
In the same compelling, inspiring prose that has made him a bestselling author, Palmer explores five "habits of the heart" that can help us restore democracy's foundations as we nurture them in ourselves and each other:An understanding that we are all in this together An appreciation of the value of "otherness" An ability to hold tension in life-giving ways A sense of personal voice and agency A capacity to create community
Healing the Heart of Democracy is an eloquent and empowering call for "We the People" to reclaim our democracy. The online journal Democracy & Education called it "one of the most important books of the early 21st Century." And Publishers Weekly, in a Starred Review, said "This beautifully written book deserves a wide audience that will benefit from discussing it."