Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Politics as a vocation, politicians as a mirror of society, and the two-way street of influence (Mary Ann Glendon)

I've been reminded recently of a lecture by Professor Mary Ann Glendon.

The lecture I attended was  in Richmond,  but Professor Glendon has given the lecture in many venues, and a version is available on YouTube (thanks Lumen Christi!).

The topic is Politics as a Vocation, and the lecture featured reflections from Cicero and Burke. Here is an excerpt from an interview with Professor Glendon about the topic that seems particularly timely now: 

Some argue that we should spend more time influencing politics, while others say we must first change culture. Ultimately, would you say that politics is upstream from culture or the reverse?

As Vaclav Havel once pointed out, politicians do, in a sense, mirror their society, and that’s why people sometimes say a country gets the kind of politics it deserves. But, he added, the words and example of a public figure can also influence society. It will always be a two-way street.

Classic Catholic answer: Both/and.

In this time of Trump, we must redouble our efforts to highlight the words and example of public figures who bring out the highest and best in our society. 


Walsh, Kevin | Permalink