Resisting Throwaway Culture


Resisting Throwaway Culture

How a Consistent Life Ethic Can Unite a Fractured People
    About the book

    Camosy begins with a hopeful starting point in the midst of a crumbling US political culture: two of every three Americans constitute an “exhausted majority” who reject right/left polarization and are open to alternative viewpoints. Especially at this time of realignment, we have been given a unique moment to put aside the frothy, angsty political debates and think harder about our deepest values. A Consistent Life Ethic, especially one which embraces Pope Francis’ challenge to resist “throwaway culture”, has the capacity to unite people who for the last several decades imagined themselves in a polarized culture war. On issues ranging from hook-up culture, reproductive technology, abortion, euthanasia, poverty, immigration, treatment of animals, and mass incarceration, this book articulates a new moral vision in which a culture of encounter and hospitality replaces a consumer culture in which the most vulnerable get used and discarded as so much trash. At bottom, Camosy offers readers a golden opportunity to dialogue about what kinds of values should serve as the foundation for a new political culture.

    A deftly written and ultimately encouraging analysis of our currently polarized political culture that seemingly breaks and fragments our country down into seemingly unreconcilable factions, "Resisting Throwaway Culture" offers insights and solutions that are as thoughtful and thought-provoking as they are ultimately inspired and inspiring. Very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Political Science collections.

    Midwest Book Review

    Camosy diagnoses America's current ills better than anyone and offers the most compelling and hopeful way forward of anybody I've read. Unlike a lot of pro-life activists, he doesn't shy away from the most difficult moral issues of our time. Indeed, he embraces them, even as he dismantles modern America's "throwaway culture." I don’t always agree with Charlie on everything, but if you're looking for a coherent argument and compassionate worldview—delivered by someone with the credentials to reach a sophisticated and cynical world—this is the only book of its kind.

    Matt Lewis
    Senior Columnist at the Daily Beast CNN Political Commentator

    Responding to a climate of political tribalism and cultural fracturing, Dr. Camosy's new book provides a unifying framework for creating a culture of encounter in which mercy, responsibility and dignity lift up vulnerable populations for special protection and welcome. This framework, a growing edge of the Consistent Life Ethic, challenges us to take a stand against a ‘throw away culture’ in which vulnerable people are reduced to a product in the marketplace instead of recognized for their inherent and irreducible value. If we allow ourselves to be challenged and moved by Camosy’s arguments, we can create a culture of encounter capable of resisting what Pope Francis calls a “globalization of indifference

    Kristin M. Collier
    MD FACP, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Director of the Program on Health, Spirituality and Religion, University of Michigan Medical School

    This book is a must read, deep dive for anyone with questions about the sanctity and dignity of human life in contemporary society. Conservatives and liberals alike will cheer and loathe various chapters with equal fervor, once again making Professor Camosy impossible to pigeonhole as a partisan of any stripe. Agree or disagree, this work is an important contribution to the national conversation about a consistent life ethic. 

    Kelly M. Rosati, JD
    CEO of KMR Consulting and former VP of Advocacy for Children at Focus on the Family

    Camosy is a principled. smart, faithful and courageous defender of human life and human dignity. A lot of us talk about the “consistent life ethic,’ but he articulates, demonstrates and practices it. If you want to understand how the “throwaway culture” challenges both parties, left and right, and every one of us, read this book.

    John Carr
    Director, Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, Georgetown University

    I’m grateful to Charles Camosy for doing the hard work of trying to hash out what Catholic social teaching looks like in practice in the world as it is today. You don’t have to agree with every word in this book to be inspired to do the same. This book is an exercise in moral civic responsibility and an act of love.

    Kathryn Jean Lopez
    Senior fellow, National Review Institute, editor-at-large National Review

    Camosy has written a unique, deeply thoughtful book that merits the consideration of anyone who wishes to understand a Catholic approach to the intrinsic value and dignity of every human life. Though I may not agree with all of his conclusions, his arguments are well worth engaging.

    Alexandra DeSanctis
    National Review Staff Writer
    Buy the whole set

    About the author

    Charles C. Camosy is associate professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University. His work on ethics and policy moves beyond stale and lazy arguments which artificially pit liberals and conservatives against each other. Instead, Camosy finds common ground by unpacking  the real complexities of some of today's most passionately debated issues. He is the editor of the Magenta series.