This collection focuses on the meaning of the common good and what resources Christian theology, biblical studies, and ethics might contribute to our understanding of it. The rationale for the discussion is ultimately theological. Whether under the formal rubric of "common good" discourse or not, the meaning of a commitment to community and the duties and claims of the individual related to the community have never been more pressing concerns. We must recognize that the thinking about the common good is intrinsic to the very character of Christian faith and the ethos it invokes. The biblical vision is in a most profound way a vision of the common good. Whether expressed in notions of justice and mercy, the care of the weak, covenantal living, or the new Jerusalem, the meaning of being human and living with the neighbor are so intrinsically bound together that there is no escaping involvement in the search for the common good in our time.
Patrick Miller is Professor of Old Testament Theology in the Department of Biblical Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. Dennis P. McCann is the Alston Professor of Bible and Religion at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA. He is the author of Christian Realism and Liberation Theology: Practical Theologies in Creative Conflict (Orbis, 1981) and, along with Max Stackhouse and Shirley Roels, the coauthor of On Moral Business: Classical and Contemporary Resources for Ethics and Economics (Eerdmans, 1995). McCann also served as Executive Director of the Society of Christian Ethics (1996-2001).