Given the constant public attention to challenges facing the U.S. as a nation and a people, this collection embraces the moral, social, and political responsibility of academics to serve as public intellectuals, enhancing the society which we inherit, in which we live, and which we envision for the future. The authors, mostly theologians and ethicists, explore new meanings of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," in an attempt to reconceptualize the meaning of key virtues that shaped self-understanding in America. Globalization, racism, ethnoracism, immigration, poverty, militarism, gender, and sexuality, are explored in relation to their implications for public life. The logic of these essays is inspired mujerista theologian Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz's characteristic convictions: the crucial role of learning from the experiences of others, especially disempowered groups, involved in la lucha or the struggle for justice; the centrality of lo cotidiano or the everyday for innovative epistemologies and ethics, or ways of knowing and living; and, the testimony of her life to the significance of fuerzas para la lucha or God-given strength for the struggle.
Rather than wield religion as a weapon or a ruse in irrational appeals, the book attempts to reimagine a shared American mythos and ethos, by reminding us of our shared stake in creating an America committed to the life of all peoples and species, to the full developments of our capabilities as an exercise of liberty, and to the happiness that true solidarity can bring as we are and become a people for the common good.
Theological Perspectives for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness was published by Palgrave Macmillan in November 2013. The ISBN for Theological Perspectives for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is 9781137371706.