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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.”