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1. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Barbara E. Wall Introduction
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fiftieth anniversary of justice in the world
2. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Thomas Massaro Justice in the World, Then and Now: How Pope Francis Carries Forward the Agenda of the 1971 Synod of Bishops
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Many of the social concerns treated in the document Justice in the World are also addressed in the social teachings of Pope Francis. This is no coincidence, especially given the background and commitments of Francis—an innovative church leader from the periphery of Latin America who has emerged as a powerful voice for global justice. The seeds of faith-based advocacy for a liberative and just economic development, which were planted by the 1971 Synod of Bishops, continue to be cultivated by Francis in both words and deeds of solidarity with the poor. While Justice in the World and the social teachings of Francis display certain differences in focus, rhetoric, and vocabulary, the common message of these two Catholic voices demanding structural reform of the global economy remains striking. Half a century apart as they are, both serve as influential agents of change for church and world.
3. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Martin Owhorchukwu Ejiowhor Pope Francis’s Culture of Encounter as a Paradigm Shift in the Magisterium’s Reception of Justice in the World: Implications for the Church’s Social Mission?
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The statement that “action on behalf of justice” is a “constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel” in the 1971 Synod of Bishops’ Justice in the World (JW) has been widely debated in Catholic social teaching. Popes, beginning with Paul VI, have tactfully, albeit indirectly, responded to it as they reflected on the theme of evangelization. This article traces the history of the magisterium’s reception of JW with special attention to this controversial statement. An analysis of JW in juxtaposition with succeeding papal documents on evangelization reveals that Pope Francis’s culture of encounter introduces a paradigm shift while rehabilitating the original ideas of JW. In conclusion, this article sheds new light on evangelization and the Church’s social mission, wherein both charity and justice are constitutive.
4. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Clemens Sedmak, Mathias Nebel From Where Do We Speak? Enacting Justice with a Wound of Knowledge
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In this article, the authors articulate the question “From where do we speak?” They explain the status of this question and then discuss the question “From where do the authors of the document Justice in the World speak?” They identify four reference points: a pneumatologic commitment, a perception of injustice, a belief in the Gospel basis of action on behalf of justice, and a recognition of self-involvement. This part of the text has been written by Clemens Sedmak. In the second part, they ask the question: “From where do we speak now?” After a few remarks on the climate crisis and the sexual abuse crisis, they focus on “the wounded sociality” of the present day. They explore the relationship between justice and this wounded sociality, taking the categories of social friendship and fraternity as points of reference (from Pope Francis’s encyclicals Laudato si’ and Fratelli tutti), and enter a conversation with three authors: Michael Sandel, Teresa Godwin Phelps, and Paul Ricoeur. This section has been authored by Mathias Nebel.
5. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Kathleen Bonnette “Habits of the Flesh” and the Call to Conversion: How Augustinian Ecology Can Illuminate Justice in the World
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In this essay, the author “scrutiniz[es] the ‘signs of the times’ and seek[s] to detect the meaning of emerging history” to explore the call to conversion issued by the 1971 Synod of Bishops in Justice in the World (JW). In that document, they condemn oppressive systems of domination that hinder authentic human development and urge people toward conversion of the Spirit, which “frees [them] from personal sin and from its consequences in social life.” To determine what it is that people are to convert from, this essay builds on an evolutionary framework—developed through Augustine’s ecology and contemporary scientific theory—and explores how this framework can help limit the pursuit of domination in favor of promoting a more integrated and just world. Doing so contributes to the dialogue concerning how Christians can “work out their salvation by deeds of justice,” in light of the prescient framework delivered in JW.
6. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Gabriel Tumba Hassan The Burden of Antidevelopment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Toward an Integral Human Development
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Despite the universal similarities of antidevelopment problems, the problems in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are unique, intense, and multifaceted. They oscillate from incompetent and corrupt government plagued with violent conflict, to the lack of provision for social needs, to ethno-religious bigotry, and result in the lack of conditions and expanded opportunities for people to pursue their well-being. Though these problems have links to the colonial era, I argue, using qualitative and historical approach methods, that the bulk of them are with postcolonial and contemporary state actors; here the search for solutions must begin. I proposed a target-approach strategy that blends Amartya Sen’s capability approach and Catholic social teaching to facilitate an integral human development in SSA.
7. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Tebaldo Vinciguerra Contributive Justice and Ecology: A Contribution after the Encyclicals Laudato si’ and Fratelli tutti
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This paper reflects the viewpoint of a member of the ecology and creation desk of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Contributive justice is proposed as a beacon that should guide all actions that aim to address the injustices in the world—chiefly, the challenges related to natural resources and the care for the environment. This care requires an enabling context: being cautious with the meritocratic narrative; implementing good governance; avoiding a paternalist stance according to which one relies totally on the state’s action and, instead, going beyond what is a strictly legal requirement and even beyond reciprocity for the sake of solidarity and for protecting the commons. In conclusion, genuine gratuitousness—in this case, as applied to water management—is presented as a key contribution for society. The text is rooted in the recent magisterium and in the 50-year-old synodal document Justice in the World.
other topics
8. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Pavel Chalupnicek Laudato si’ and Economics: A Survey of Responses
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Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato si’ (LS) calls for a wide engagement of all levels of society and of people of all trades in finding solutions to the world’s current social and environmental crisis. However, not much is known about its reception among social scientists. This article surveys responses to LS by economists in three distinct groups: “mainstream” economics, degrowth economics, and the social economy movement. While the first group has not engaged with the encyclical so far, the remaining two groups have produced a variety of responses, which are discussed to highlight their common themes, as well as their differences. It is argued that this discussion can provide a better understanding of the opportunities for and limitations to further engagement between Catholic social thought and economics.
9. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Joe Evans Catholic Social Teaching and Human Trafficking in War and Natural Disasters: South Asia Case Study
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This essay examines Catholic social teaching in the context of human trafficking in South Asia during armed conflict and natural disasters. Using a see-judge-act framework to construct the argument, this paper is focused on finding ways to narrow the gaps in these efforts. The gaps occur horizontally when individual issues become isolated from a larger effort, failing to recognize that many challenges are symptoms of a larger problem. The gaps also occur vertically, with the divide between theory and practice. The Church, including religious and lay actors, can diminish the threat and damage from human trafficking through a comprehensive implementation of Catholic social teaching that has a theological foundation and is conscious of the relevant cultural factors.
book reviews
10. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
María Teresa Blood in the Fields: Óscar Romero, Catholic Social Teaching, and Land Reform
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11. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Todd Salzman Sex, Love, and Families: Catholic Perspectives
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12. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Daniel P. Scheid An Ecological Theology of Liberation: Salvation and Political Ecology
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13. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Brian P. Flanagan Pope Francis: A Voice for Mercy, Justice, Love, and Care for the Earth; The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis: Moving toward Global Catholicity
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14. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Barbara E. Wall Introduction
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reading the signs of the times
15. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Drew Christiansen, SJ Fratelli tutti and the Responsibility to Protect
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Fratelli tutti expresses skepticism about the ability of the just-war tradition to provide guidance on the state use of force. It is dismissive of a whole range of rationales for going to war. In rejecting humanitarian “excuses,” Pope Francis puts to question the Church’s support even for armed enforcement of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). In place of abstract moral reasoning, Francis invites contemplation of the suffering of the victims of war. He expands the horizon of analysis from particular acts to consideration of the cascading consequences of war. He invites the military to color their warrior ethic with the kindness of Christ. In practice, his teaching implies increased attention to the ius postbellum and “the responsibility to rebuild” after armed conflict.
16. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Andrew Beauchamp, Jason A. Heron Immigration, Reciprocity, and the Modern Economic Tradition
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Contemporary economists are silent regarding economic rights because modern economic theory does not adequately account for reciprocity and risk in human relationships. The immigration question in the US serves as our test case for both the reality of reciprocity and risk in the realm of economic rights, and the need for economic analysis that more honestly contends with this reality. We examine reciprocity and risk in immigration through an economic lens and then complement that examination with resources from the Catholic social teaching tradition. We show how Catholic social teaching can enhance economic analysis of immigration and other social phenomena by helping economics make sense of reciprocity and risk in economic relations.
17. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Miguel Cerón Becerra, SJ Health Care in US Detention Centers: Ethical Analysis from the Preferential Option for the Poor
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The US has built the most extensive immigration detention system globally. Over the last three administrations, several organizations have noted a systemic failure in the provision of health care in detention centers, leading to the torture and death of immigrants. This essay develops the principle of the preferential option for the poor to examine the causes of deficient access to health care and solutions to overcome them. It analyzes the substandard health care in detention centers from the notion of structural violence and systematizes solutions of grassroots immigrant organizations from the idea of solidarity, understood here as a form of friendship with the poor that moves toward relational justice. Its goal is to build bridges between people so that the political will is generated to create policies to improve and enforce health care standards in detention centers and address the unjust foundations of immigration detention.
18. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Christopher Rice The Green New Deal, Subsidiarity, and Local Action
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A common criticism of the Green New Deal proposal to address climate change is that it would centralize too much power at the level of the federal government. However, the Green New Deal can avoid this by centering local action and decision-making in keeping with the principle of subsidiarity from Catholic social ethics. This principle holds that higher levels of society should not override the initiative of lower levels of society but should instead coordinate and support their work whenever possible. A focus on subsidiarity is already present in the framing of the Green New Deal proposal and provides a sound ethical foundation for its development and implementation.
nostra aetate revisited
19. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Matthew Bagot Fostering Human Dignity and Freedom: A Shared Vision for Catholic-Muslim Dialogue about Democracy
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At the beginning of Nostra aetate, the Church calls for mutual understanding with Muslims in the interests of “peace, liberty, social justice, and moral values.” This paper strives to achieve such an understanding in light of the fragile state of democracy in today’s world. The paper first presents the Church’s approach to democracy through an analysis of the work of the philosopher Jacques Maritain and the Second Vatican Council. It then presents representative views from Islam: the work of the Sunni legal scholar Khaled Abou El Fadl and the Shi’ite scholar Naser Ghobadzadeh. By appealing to the Jesuit scholarDavid Hollenbach’smethodology of “dialogic universalism,” the paper argues finally that there is a rich confluence between the two traditions: Their basic commitment to the dignity and freedom of the human person implies a respect for pluralism, a reverence for reason, and a call for self-transcendence, all of which can serve to enhance democracy.
20. Journal of Catholic Social Thought: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Rebecca Hiromi Luft Fulfillment—A Term at Play in Gifts and Calling and Jewish-Christian Concerns about Supersessionism: A Nonevolutionary, Cultic Redefinition of the Term
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The Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews produced The Gifts and Calling of God Are Irrevocable (Rom 11:29), in which supersessionism is firmly rejected. In this document, the term fulfillment occurs frequently to describe the relationship between the Old and New Covenant. It implies an evolutionary development from old to new, or from promise to fulfillment. Therefore, the use of this term may lead one to suspect that it is merely a synonym for supersession or a progression from good to better. To avoid this connotation, I redefine this term by locating it within the Israelite cult. Through a study of Aaron’s ordination to the high priesthood in Leviticus and the claims for Jesus’s high priesthood in the Epistle to the Hebrews, I show that fulfillment already occurs in the Old Covenant by relating the historical, earthly cult to the eternal, heavenly cult.