John Courtney Murray -- Do His Ideas Still Matter?

Weithman, Paul J. "John Courtney Murray -- Do His Ideas Still Matter?" America 29 (October, 1994): 17-21.

Paul J. Weithman points out the religious and political differences between the United States of 1960, when We Hold These Truths, John Courtney Murray's defense of Catholicism's compatibility with the American way of life was published, and the United States of the 1990s. In 1960, John F. Kennedy's nomination for the presidency on the Democratic ticket threatened to reignite a Protestant backlash similar to that which greeted Al Smith 32 years earlier. By the 1990s, a candidate's Catholicism is less of a political liability than are certain brands of conservative Protestantism. Given these dramatic changes in the religio-political landscape, Weithman asks, is it reasonable to expect insight into contemporary issues from a thinker whose world was so different from our own?