Browsing by Author "Soroski, John"
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ItemCatholicism, Rawlsian political liberalism, and reciprocity: insights from the travails of Bishop Henry of Calgary(2011) Soroski, JohnJohn Rawls contended that an overlapping consensus for “political liberalism” could be found in different ways across the range of comprehensive systems of value in western societies. Three recent conflicts concerning the relationship of church and state in Canada involving the Catholic Bishop of Calgary, Frederick Henry, provide an opportunity to consider Rawls' ideas in a specific societal context. The first of these conflicts — Henry's call for the excommunication of Catholic Prime Minister Paul Martin for legalizing same-sex marriage — suggests that the resources for a Rawlsian overlapping consensus may be difficult to find in Catholicism. The refusal of the Calgary Catholic School Board to obey Henry's order to end the use of gambling related school fund-raising, the second of the Bishop's “travails,” undercuts that conclusion, but the moral emptiness of the vocabulary of cultural liberalism, which the Board deployed in its self-justifications, suggests that too much liberalism might be almost as regrettable as too little. Henry's third travail — a call before the Human Rights Commission to answer charges of “discriminatory public speech” for his public criticisms of homosexuality — suggests the merit of recognizing an alternative to overlapping consensus as the source of Catholic recognition of Rawlsian political liberalism: reciprocity. ItemPrivate reservations: Liberal forms and aboriginal norms in the theory and practice of property(2017) Soroski, JohnMuch contemporary discourse about Indigenous and liberal conceptions of the nexus between property, culture, and individualism has emphasized the dichotomy between Indigenous and western European paradigms of property. Yet a closer examination of property forms in liberal society reveals a far wider range of Indigenous-style property holding than is broadly recognized. Versions of the collective ownership, control and self-constraint associated with the Indigenous model can also be seen in numerous forms of liberal property holding in non-Indigenous society, particularly where people are seeking to realize the Indigenous goods of distributive equity, community and collegiality, and the preservation of social or group identity. ItemWisdom of the elders: Canadian reconciliatory experience as an insight on the present(2019) Soroski, JohnCanada’s first two large historical encounters of recognition and work-in-progress accommodation of previously marginalized and alienated groups involved French Canada and newcomer Canadians. The third such engagement is now underway in response to the Indigenous peoples of Canada. While this endeavour is long overdue, there is reason for concern that the laudable enthusiasm of many for this project of reconciliation may be authorizing some policies, practices and discourses that conflict with and potentially undermine the values that informed and came out of previous inclusionary encounters. Three areas of concern arise. The first is the embrace of state deference in some instances to unlawful and sometimes violent forms of Aboriginal protest and resistance, undercutting the idea of the rule of law and of the value of the peaceful resolution of disputes. The second is the propensity to under critically over-authorize Indigenous cultural communities as sources of moral valuation, in ways that may undermine individuals’ dignity and well-being, as well as doing harm to the good of intra-cultural inclusiveness. The third is the related tendency to over-valorise Indigenous cultures and claims in ways that suggest symbolically and in practical terms the idea of the existence of morally first-class and morally second-class Canadians.