San Diego Law Review


Jeremy Waldron

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Article commences with an excerpt from a "Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy" published in 1986 by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Through this letter, the author leads us to the question, "What part should doctrines and arguments rooted in religious beliefs play in public debate?" The author views such religious contributions as relevant to secular politics. He recommends that people value rethinking the structure of their premises, and see the value of an open, challenging, and indeterminate form of public deliberation in which nothing is taken for granted. He concludes that we can be less uncomfortable about the deployment of religious ideas in secular debate.