Introducing Catholic Social Thought

Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2010-05-30
Publisher(s): Orbis Books
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Customer Reviews

Introducing Catholic Social Thought  April 5, 2011
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This textbook contains a basic introduction including Pope Benedict XVI's most recent encyclicals that focuses on its understanding and applications in the twenty-first century. After offering a description of the general historical development of Catholic social thought, Thompson provides five chapters that deal with specific themes: faithful citizenship, economic justice, human rights, war and peace and the consistent ethic of life, and care for the earth.

Introducing Catholic Social Thought: 4 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.


An introduction to Catholic social teaching that focuses on the spirit of Catholic social thought in our twenty-first century and includes the recent encyclicals of Benedict XVI.

Author Biography

J. Milburn Thompson teaches theology and Christian social ethics at Bellarmine University in Louisville where he is also chair of the Department of Theology. He is the author of two editions of Justice and Peace: A Christian Primer.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Overview of the Textp. 2
The Development of Catholic Social Thoughtp. 5
Definitions and Termsp. 6
The Major Documents of Catholic Social Teachingp. 7
History and Developmentp. 11
Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)p. 11
Christian Scriptures (New Testament)p. 12
The First Six Centuries - The Patristic Periodp. 15
The Medieval Period (600-1453)p. 18
The Reformation and the Age of Conquest (1492-1740)p. 23
The Church Confronts the Industrial Age (1740-1958)p. 25
The Reactionary Period (1740-1878)p. 26
The Reform Period (1878-1958)p. 27
The Period of Transformation (1958-present)p. 28
Conclusionp. 32
Changes in the Theoretical Foundations of Catholic Social Teachingp. 32
Different Understandings of the Churchp. 34
Questions for Reflection and Discussionp. 35
Faithful Citizenship: The Church and Politicsp. 36
A Theological Basis for a Relationship between Faith and Politicsp. 37
A Private Faith versus a Public Faithp. 37
The Politicization of the Churchp. 40
John Courtney Murray and the Contemporary Relationship between Church and Statep. 41
The Church and the World: The Social Mission of the Churchp. 46
Christianity and Social Progressp. 46
Peace on Earthp. 48
Vatican II's Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern Worldp. 49
Paul VI and A Call to Actionp. 50
John Paul II: Unimplemented Innovationsp. 51
Justice in the Worldp. 53
Paul VI's Evangelization in the Modern Worldp. 55
Benedict XVI: Charity Is Constitutive of the Church's Missionp. 56
Values and Principles That Guide the Church's Approach to Public Policyp. 57
Human Dignity, Realized in Communityp. 58
The Common Goodp. 59
Participationp. 60
Solidarity, Subsidiarity, and Socializationp. 60
Social Sin and Structures of Injusticep. 62
Option for the Poorp. 63
Human Rightsp. 63
Torture: A Clear Violation of Human Rightsp. 65
Immigration: A Case of Human Rights in Conflictp. 67
Political Advocacyp. 70
Conclusionp. 76
Questions for Reflection and Discussionp. 77
Economic Justicep. 78
César Chávez and La Causap. 78
The Dignity of Work, the Priority of Labor, and the Rights of Workersp. 82
The Dignity of Human Work as Based in the Dignity of the Workerp. 84
The Priority of Labor over Capitalp. 84
The Rights of Workersp. 85
A Spirituality of Workp. 87
The Social Purpose of Private Property and Material Possessionsp. 87
The Preferential Option for the Poorp. 89
Authentic Development as a Response to Global Povertyp. 95
A Tough Readp. 98
Bono: Activist for a World without Povertyp. 99
Conclusionp. 101
Questions for Reflection and Discussionp. 102
War and Peacep. 103
A Brief History of Christian Thought on War and Peacep. 103
Pacifism/Nonviolencep. 103
Just Warp. 104
Jus ad Bellum - Why and When Recourse to War Is Morally Permittedp. 105
Jus in hello - Restraints on How the War Is Fought, the Conduct during the Warp. 105
Crusade/Holy Warp. 106
Catholic Social Teaching on War and Peace during the World Warsp. 107
Benedict XV and World War Ip. 107
Pius XI and the Rise of Totalitarianismp. 109
Pius XII and World War IIp. 109
Catholic Social Thought on War and Peace in the First Half of the Twentieth Centuryp. 111
Catholic Social Teaching on War and Peace during the Cold War (1945-90)p. 114
The Catholic Peace Movementp. 116
John Paul II and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Post-Cold War Worldp. 131
Issues in Catholic Thought on War and Peace after September 11, 2001p. 132
Controversies and Developments in the Just War Traditionp. 133
Just Peacemaking as a Normative, Supplemental Paradigmp. 136
Questions for Reflection and Discussionp. 138
A Consistent Ethic of Life and Care for the Earthp. 139
Cardinal Bernardin and the Consistent Ethicp. 140
Rooted in Initiatives by the Laityp. 143
The Seamless Garment in Catholic Social Teachingp. 145
The Controversy over the Consistent Ethicp. 148
An Ecological Theology and Environmental Ethicp. 153
Dorothy Stang: Martyr of the Amazonp. 153
Catholic Social Teaching and the Environmentp. 156
Key Themes in the Church's Teaching on the Environmentp. 157
Some Questions regarding the Church's Environmental Ethicp. 160
Questions for Reflection and Discussionp. 163
Conclusionp. 165
Problems and Weaknesses of Catholic Social Teachingp. 165
Contributions and Strengths of Catholic Social Teachingp. 167
Notesp. 169
Selected Bibliography on Catholic Social Thoughtp. 207
Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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