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1. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Jeff Gingerich, Nicholas Rademacher Editors' Introduction
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2. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Bob Pennington The Cardijn Canon: A Method of Theological Praxis in Contemporary Catholic Social Teaching
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The author situates the question of praxis in theological methodology and Catholic Social Teaching in relation to teaching ethics courses in Catholic higher education. The author uses a genealogical strategy to show that Cardinal Joseph Cardijn’s See-Judge-Act methodology of theological praxis has become canonical in Catholic Social Teaching. The author shows that advocates of Cardijn’s methodology include Pope Pius XI, Pope Pius XII, Saint Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, and Pope Francis. In addition, the author shows that Cardijn’s methodology is used by the committee that drafts Schema XIII, the Conciliar document that becomes Gaudium et Spes. Besides its use in a Western European Catholic Context the author explains that Cardijn’s methodology of theological praxis is appropriated at the Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano in Medellin, Colombia (1968); Puebla, Mexico (1979); and Aparecida, Brazil (2007). The author also explains how Cardijn’s methodology of theological praxis is integrated in ethics courses in order to develop students’ ability to discern whether a current business, healthcare, or environmental practice is a sign of the kingdom of God or the anti-kingdom. For the author, Cardijn’s methodology of theological praxis leads students to new insight about realities they are unaware and introduces them to the countercultural wisdom of the Catholic intellectual tradition, as well as the importance of moving beyond critical theological reflection and into the realm of social action.
3. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Andrew Herr, Jason King Does Service and Volunteering Affect Catholic Identity?
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While many believe that service should be connected to the religious identity of Catholic colleges and universities, little research has been done to see if this is in fact the case. To test this commonly-held belief, we surveyed students at and gathered information about twenty-six different Catholic campuses in the United States. We find no correlation between students’ frequency of service and their perception of Catholic identity. In addition, we find that students perceive their school to be less Catholic the more institutions link service to Catholicism. The only characteristic of service that is positively correlated with Catholic identity is the percentage of service learning courses offered. In other words, students do not see anything intrinsically Catholic about volunteering, but rather that Catholicism means that you should volunteer more. We believe this suggests how Catholic colleges and universities can link service to their Catholic identity.
4. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Marcus Mescher Reclaiming Grace in Catholic Social Thought
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Grace is hardly mentioned in the canon of Catholic social teaching. When grace is invoked, it is typically discussed as a gift for personal sanctification, but not a relationship empowering human and divine cooperation for social and ecological responsibility. This essay examines the limited treatment of grace in Catholic social teaching outside of Familiaris consortio and Amoris laetitia before proposing that the traditional emphasis on grace at work in family life can be a model for more intentionally partnering with grace beyond family life. Reclaiming grace as a relationship for cooperation provides a framework for practicing the principles of Catholic social teaching in order to effect change in family life, in local faith communities, and through Catholic NGOs that forge international connections. Grace thus inspires a template for moral formation from the ground up that emphasizes shared practices for participating in “social grace” (in contrast to “social sin”) for integral flourishing as envisioned in Catholic social teaching.
5. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Andrew Staron Centered Toward the Margins: Teaching Pope Francis’s Revolution of Mercy
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In his 2017 TED Talk, Pope Francis invited his viewers to a “revolution of tenderness” through “love that comes close and becomes real.” Responding to that call, this article argues that Francis’s assertion that “mercy is doctrine” means that the substance of theology and its teaching requires a conversion of the minds and hearts of both students and teachers to paths wherein one might encounter the God of Mercy. After touching upon particular challenges facing teachers of theology in an undergraduate classroom, the article outlines Francis’s theological framework which both stands upon the tradition of Ignatian spirituality and justifies his using the weight of the papacy to reorient the church’s vision toward mercy and the margins. Finally, this article considers Pope Francis’s pastoral call to mercy theology might nourish undergraduate students’ imaginations and make merciful action intelligible, spiritually meaningful, and attractive.
6. Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Paul Kidder Jane Jacobs: Subsidiarity in the City
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Jane Jacobs’s classic 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, famously indicted a vision of urban development based on large scale projects, low population densities, and automobile-centered transportation infrastructure by showing that small plans, mixed uses, architectural preservation, and district autonomy contributed better to urban vitality and thus the appeal of cities. Implicit in her thinking is something that could be called “the urban good,” and recognizable within her vision of the good is the principle of subsidiarity—the idea that governance is best when it is closest to the people it serves and the needs it addresses—a principle found in Catholic papal encyclicals and related documents. Jacobs’s work illustrates and illuminates the principle of subsidiarity, not merely through her writings on cities, but also through her activism in New York City, which was influential in altering the direction of that city’s subsequent planning and development.