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In an era where the credibility of the Catholic Church has been called into question, hope for the future springs up, in that Catholic social teaching and the concrete witness of communities displays a powerful commitment to mercy. The Politics of Mercy reimagines the traditional spiritual and corporal works of mercy as a Catholic politics composed of spirituality, local charitable action, and broader work for justice. The book examines five contemporary social crises—inequality, migration, mass incarceration, war, and environmental degradation—and how Catholic teaching and theology can illuminate them. Featured are stories of Catholic organizations, including the Catholic Worker, Jesuit Refugee Service, Homeboy Industries, Catholic Relief Services, and Bethlehem Farm, each of which responds in particularly vibrant ways to the crises each chapter considers. This book presents a new apologetic for Catholicism, presenting the best that Catholics have to offer, namely a holistic life of mercy, which can help to reconcile and to heal a world riven by inequality, racism, and violence. Above all, The Politics of Mercy offers a vision of hope for our world.
About the Author
Matthew Eggemeier is associate professor of religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross. He teaches contemporary Catholic theology, political and liberation theologies, and Catholic social teaching. He has published on political theology, Christian spirituality, and the ecological crisis. Peter Joseph Fritz is associate professor of religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross. He teaches Catholic theology, Christian history, Catholic social teaching, and theological aesthetics. He has published on theology and capitalism, Karl Rahner’s theology, and French phenomenology.