Law's Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society
Can the law promote moral values even in pluralistic societies such as the United States? In a new book, Law's Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society, legal scholar and moral theologian Cathleen Kaveny (Notre Dame) argues that it can. In conversation with thinkers as diverse as Thomas Aquinas, Pope John Paul II, and Joseph Raz, she argues that the law rightly promotes the values of autonomy and solidarity. At the same time, she cautions that wise lawmakers will not enact mandates that are too far out of step with the lived moral values of the actual community.
At this lunchtime seminar, Professor Kaveny presented her book and discussed the relevance of her argument for American politics and society across a range of critical issues.
M. Cathleen Kaveny is John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and studies issues at the intersection of law, religion, and morality; she has particular expertise in health care ethics. Her research has appeared in scholarly journals such as the Wake Forest Law Review, and she serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Jurisprudence, The Journal of Religious Ethics, the Journal of Lawand Religion, and The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics. Kaveny has written for the Catholic magazine Commonweal since 2004 and contributes to The Washington Post/Newsweek site "On Faith." She also participates in the Catholic Common Ground Initiative. Kaveny holds an AB from Princeton University and a MA, MPhil, JD, and PhD from Yale University.