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part i: symposia: symposium: on caritas in veritate
1. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Kevin Schmiesing Introduction
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2. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Francis Woehrling Caritas in Veritate: Love Shaping the Real World Through Rational Understanding
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The significance of the title of Benedict XVI’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate has not been adequately appreciated. It is the first social encyclical with an expressly theological title. Benedict calls for Catholics to shape the economic world (specifically, globalization) with Christian love.
3. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Stephen Bullivant Caritas in Veritate and the Allocation of Scarce Resources
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The allocation of finite resources is a pressing concern at all levels of government. Such decisions are not only, of necessity, moral ones, but are in many cases, directly or indirectly, literally matters of life and death. As such, they are a proper and important concern for Catholic social thought. Previous researchers have explored what insights and principles may be gleaned from Catholic social teaching, as principally expressed in formal pronouncements of the Magisterium, with regard to the theory of resource allocation. The purpose of this short article is to explore what Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 Caritas in Veritate might add to,modify, or take from, what has gone before.
4. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Joel Gibbons Work, Labor, and Social Justice
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Work provides the opportunities that social justice distributes. Without work there isn’t even the possibility of justice. On the one side, this fact calls us to think clearly about what works and about what creates value in the economic world, and about how this is forged into economic justice. This short essay focuses on that junction between work and justice, drawing on two recent encyclicals for their insight into justice, and drawing on recent economic history for insight into what actually works economically. In the end one conclusion becomes clear: our work is justified by what it teaches us and nourishes in us, but even more it is judged by the objective value of what it produces.
5. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Thaddeus J. Kozinski Whose Love? Which Truth? A Postmodern Encyclical
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The most remarkable characteristic of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate is its theologically robust mode of discourse: a pervasive and unapologetically Trinitarian and Christological, substantive argument, based in a robust theological anthropology of person and society as gift, and a peculiarly Platonic and Augustinian rhetorical mode of discourse. Caritas reveals the implicit, hidden, and faulty theological and philosophical commitments of secular reason—which, when used as a medium for the Gospel, can too easily taint the true doctrine the Church attempts to convey with it—proclaiming instead a radically orthodox diagnosis of and prescription for a disenchanted, love-and-truth starved—yet Enlightenment-weary—postmodern world.
6. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
John Larrivee Caritas in Veritate: Learning Lessons about Truth, Religion, and Civil Society from the Economic Experiments of the Twentieth Century
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Caritas in Veritate emphasizes authentic development as growth in virtue and love for each other and for God. Civil society, especially religion and the family, set upon a foundation of truth about man and what is good for him, is critical. In the last century, debates about the economic and political mix were driven by theories which, because they overemphasized the impact of economic factors (especially capitalism) on individuals and society, often saw religion and civil society asirrelevant. The failure of the alternative economic arrangements demonstrates the error of those theories and testifies to the importance of truth, religion, and civil society to authentic human flourishing. Excessive criticism of capitalism hinders learning this lesson by keeping the focus on economic factors rather than moving to the more central issues of truth and civil society.
part i: symposia: symposium: john courtney’s murray’s we hold these truths at 50
7. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Kenneth L. Grasso Introduction
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8. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
John F. Quinn The Enduring Influence of We Hold These Truths
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John Courtney Murray’s landmark work, We Hold These Truths, was conceived and brought into being by the editors of Sheed & Ward, who wanted to bring Murray’s work to a broad cross-section of America. When it first appeared, the book was reviewed favorably in both religious and secular journals. Political conservatives were particularly enthusiastic about its defense of natural law principles and its opposition to secularism. By the late 1960s, liberal Catholics interested in legalizing abortion began citing its distinctions between public and private morality. In the 1980s, neoconservative Catholic thinkers embraced the book for much the same reason that conservatives had endorsed it in 1960. While many other Catholic thinkers on both the left and right have grown more critical of the work in recent years, neoconservatives have remained its most dedicated adherents.
9. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Kenneth L. Grasso Getting Murray Right
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This essay seeks to dispel two common misunderstandings of the argument of We Hold These Truths. Contrary to what is sometimes asserted, it argues, Murray does not turn the American founding into an expression of Thomistic political theory. Although he emphasizes the Christian and medieval roots of the American democratic experiment, Murray also recognizes—even if he does not explore the point systematically—the imprint left on the American founding bydistinctively modern intellectual currents. Likewise, it maintains that although the rejection of the natural law tradition under the impact of Enlightenment rationalism figures prominently in Murray’s account of the crisis of the modern West, Murray’s account of the role of natural law in this crisis must be seen against the backdrop of a broader analysis whose focus is theological and spiritual in nature, and which sees the ultimate source of this crisis in modern culture’s rejection of Christian revelation.
10. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
William Gould We Hold These Truths and the Pluralist Civilization
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This essay explores the project undertaken by Murray in We Hold These Truths and its relevance to contemporary America. When it first appeared in 1960, We Hold These Truths made a powerful case to the American public for the compatibility of Catholicism and American democracy and of the need for a renewal of America’s historic public consensus rooted in natural law. It also emphasized the role that the Catholic political tradition could play in this renewal. Although parts of its argument may be problematic, and vast changes in America’s cultural and religious landscape make it dated in some respects, five decades after its original publication, Murray’s book nevertheless remains highly relevant to our contemporary situation, both as a contribution to democratic theory and as a profound reflection on the nature of “the civilization of the pluralist society.”
11. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Michael Novak Holding These Truths Today
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This essay explores “the metaphysics of American ideas” and the strengths and weaknesses of Murray’s argument in We Hold These Truths. The philosophical principles that animate the American founding, it argues, presuppose a particular understanding of the structure of being whose roots are biblical in inspiration. Murray’s account, it continues, calls our attention to the many links between the American founding and the Catholic tradition, suggests ways in which Catholic thought can give us a deeper understanding of the “truths” informing the Founding, and illuminates the gulf between contemporary America’s secular “superculture” and the many cultures of local America. Expressing some concerns about the conceptions of reason, nature, and grace that inform Murray’s thought, and of Murray’s engagement with the thought of the American founders, it concludes by attempting to extend We Hold These Truths’ argument by identifying three truths, over and above those identified by Murray, that are essential to a proper understanding of the American democratic experiment.
12. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Gary D. Glenn Murray After Fifty Years: Five Themes
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This essay explicates five themes from We Hold These Truths. Specifically, it seeks to: (1) compare Murray’s treatment of contemporary America’s loss of a public philosophy to similar arguments made by important non-Catholic journalists and political theorists in his day; (2) bring Murray’s account of the Christian roots of the liberal tradition into conversation with the view that the liberal tradition is specifically modern; (3) explore the significance of Murray’s famous interpretation of the religion clauses of the First Amendment as entirely practical “articles of peace”; (4) critically engage Murray’s account of the thought of the founders and explore the motivations underlying this account; and (5) relate Murray’s account of the natural law theory undergirding the American democratic experiment to the political theory informing the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln’s re-founding of the American regime.
13. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Gerard V. Bradley We Hold These Truths and the Problem of Public Morality
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This essay maintains that although We Hold These Truths represented an important milestone in Catholic reflection on the American regime, Murray’s analysis of public morality and the state’s role in its promotion and enforcement is notably weak and of little assistance to us today. More specifically, it argues that Murray’s analysis is insufficiently philosophical and too concerned with the pragmatic task of forging an approach widely acceptable in the America of his day; that it rests on an artificial distinction between “private” and “public” morality that fails to sufficiently appreciate the essential dependence of sound morals legislation upon the government’s recognition of moral truth; and that it too closely identifies the whole of law’s competence with the scope of its coercive jurisdiction, thus failing to appreciate the directive and educative properties of law and its role in the establishment of conditions conducive to human flourishing.
part ii: articles
14. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Michael J. Ruszala The Metaphysics of Caritas in Veritate: Augustinian Theology and Social Thought as an Interpretive Key
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An aspect particularly striking about Caritas in Veritate among social encyclicals is its emphasis from the beginning on Augustinian-based metaphysics. This paper considers Pope Benedict’s metaphysical starting point as a key contribution to social doctrine in times marked by the concrete embodiment of globalization, to which the postmodern mind has responded with increased secularism and religious indifferentism. Pope Benedict is seeking to guide globalization by man’s rediscovery of himself via a metaphysics open to faith. Such a metaphysics reveals man’s essentially relational character, intimatingthe unity in diversity of the Trinity, by whose power in charity lies the only lasting hope of human progress and development: not merely the peace of the earthly city but the city of God in its heavenly fulfillment. Broad as it is deep, Caritas in Veritate applies its metaphysics to social virtue in action in a variety of social concerns relevant to our contemporary world and society.
15. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Joseph A. Varacalli Sociology of Religion: Contemporary Developments—An Exploratory Critique from a Catholic Sociological Sensibility
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This review essay provides an exploratory critique of one prominent contemporary sociology of religion textbook from the perspective of a Catholic sociological sensibility. It is written with the projection that the critique could eventually be expanded into a more systematic and exhaustive review of other major textbooks in the field. The textbook is analyzed in light of eight fundamental questions.
16. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
David Gilbert Sacraments and the State: Lessons from the Mexican Reforma
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The Mexican Reforma is often considered a classic example of the power struggles that occurred between church and state throughout the nineteenth century. However, since in this case both sides claimed to be Catholic, the most important battles in Mexico were actually intra ecclesiam. Ultimately, it was a fight over access to the sacraments that drove Mexico into civil war, transforming both the Church and society in the process. The current debate in the United States over allowing public figures who violate Church teaching to receive Holy Communion should be considered within the context of the Mexican experience.
17. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Jane Adolphe New Challenges for Catholic-Inspired NGOs in light of Caritas in Veritate
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The non-governmental organization (NGO) is perceived not only as a disseminator of information, monitor of human rights or provider of services but also as a shaper of national, regional, and international policy. Many members of the lay faithful, working with others from various Christian denominations, have established NGOs to monitor and to promote the rights of the unborn, the natural family, and many other topics of common interest. These NGOs lobby at the national, regional, and international levels. This paper discusses the role of the Catholic-inspired NGO on the international level with reference to the thought of Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclical, Caritas in veritate.
18. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
James Likoudis Vladimir Soloviev (“The Russian Newman”) on Christian Politics and Ecumenism
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Regarded as the greatest of Russian philosophers, Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900) was praised by Pope John Paul II for establishing “a fruitful relationship between philosophy and the word of God.” As the Christian philosopher of Godmanhood and critic of naturalism and atheistic humanism, he saw the urgency of ending the tragic schism between Russian Orthodoxy and Rome. His ecclesiological masterpiece, Russia and the Universal Church was an unequivocal profession of faith in the Catholic doctrine of the Roman primacy. French Jesuit Michel d’Herbigny’s seminal book Vladimir Soloviev: a Russian Newmaninfluenced many writers who similarly saw certain resemblances between two of the pioneers of nineteenth-century ecumenical thought, Soloviev and the Blessed John Henry Newman. Soloviev’s theocratic theology of politics and development of the social gospel remain of particular interest to students of Catholic social doctrine.
19. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
David George Mullan The Dialectics of Protestantism in Nineteenth-Century France
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The nineteenth century brought challenges that undermined the unity of French Reformed Protestantism. Evangelicals held to the great doctrines of Luther and Calvin, while liberals preferred a looser connection with the past and emphasized the libertarian character of the Reformation rather than its formal doctrinal content. Protestantism was deeply rooted in dialectical forms of thinking and expression, most obviously between assumptions of biblical truth and Roman Catholic idolatry and superstition. That same dialectic, supported by contemporary philosophies, would be turned inward as liberals sought to claim theReformation as grounds for their freedom from traditional theological constraints while accusing evangelicals of a Catholic-like dogmatism.
20. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
C.J. Wolfe Lessons from the Friendship of Jacques Maritain with Saul Alinsky
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This essay looks into the paradoxical friendship of Jacques Maritain, a Catholic philosopher, and Saul Alinsky, a radical community organizer. Commentators Bernard Doering and Charles Curran have used the fact of this friendship to draw the erroneous conclusion that Maritain approved of Alinsky’s philosophy. However, a closer look at their respective writings shows that Maritain and Alinsky retained profound disagreements on basic philosophical issues. Particular attention is paid to Maritain’s letter in response to Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, in which Maritain raised objections to many of Alinsky’s ideas. Thus, Maritain didnot compromise his Christian worldview.