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1. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Guillermo Montes Race to the Top, Value-Added Models, and the Catholic View of Education
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Race to the Top is resulting in the widespread adoption of value-added models to measure teacher performance. There are concerns about the reliability and validity of these methods and about the wisdom of the Federal government mandating how to conduct non-federal employees’ performance reviews. (Editor’s note: This article was written in June 2011.)
2. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Jeff Rankin Marketing Education in Light of Catholic Social Teaching
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This paper explores how several fundamental concepts from Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and other Christian thought can be integrated with the marketing curriculum at a Catholic university in the spirit of Ex Corde Ecclesiae and Fides et Ratio with an aim to equip students to become ethical business leaders. The paper also discusses some initial pedagogical approaches and some brief student feedback.
3. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Peter Augustine Lawler Tocqueville’s Aristocratic Christianity
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Tocqueville, the educator, employs both Christianity and aristocracy to elevate or give soulful content to the democratic personal identity, and he even presents Christianity as a kind of combination of aristocracy and democracy. The aristocratic dimension of Christianity, he says, is America’s most precious inheritance. He also says that Jesus corrected the prejudice of even the best philosophers of Greece against the possible greatness of ordinary people. Tocqueville seems most attracted to a Catholicism purged of any connection with the prejudices of aristocratic injustice. That Catholicism wouldn’t be so different from the Puritanism he describes, transformed by a criticism based on both the purely Christian and aristocratic views of freedom. Tocqueville reminds us of St. Thomas Aquinas’ realistic corrections of the unjust and self-absorbed excesses of Aristotle’s magnanimous man, and he at least suggests to us the need for a kind of American Thomism.
4. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Stephen M. Krason Reasons Why Government Should Be Turned To Only When Necessary
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This article is one of SCSS President Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic” online columns. It makes the argument, in accord with such principles of Catholic social teaching as subsidiarity, that government should undertake tasks in a political society only when truly necessary. It points to many problems that experience has shown in the U.S. tend to develop when functions are turned over to government, especially in domestic areas. He made a presentation based on this column as part of a panel on “What the Role of Government in Contemporary America Should Be, in Light of Historical Experience and Catholic Social Teaching” at the 2011 SCSS National Meeting-Conference.
5. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Richard Rymarz Living Vicariously: Some Implications of the New Evangelization for Catholic Schools
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This paper argues that the New Evangelization of Pope John Paul II is an appropriate response to a culture where vicarious expression is becoming a dominant mode of religious affiliation. Vicarious religious affiliation described variously as a type of practical atheism, providing a metaphorical safety net or keeping intact a tenuous religious memory has clear implications for Catholic schools. Schools no longer can rely on the committed and ongoing support of parents and others and must clearly reemphasize their distinctiveness in a marketplace that is replete with religious options. One way of doing this is to cultivate a strong religious identity
6. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Gary D. Glenn Situating Tocqueville Between Modern Political Philosophy and Pre-Modern Catholic Political Philosophy About What Constitutes Society
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Sixteenth-century neo-scholastic Catholic thought defended a Christian-Aristotelian view of society as constituted by intergenerational moral obligations derived, not from consent, but from the benefits later generations are given by earlier generations’ progress in the arts and sciences (language, civilization, society, the regime itself). In contrast, self-consciously modern political philosophy substitutes “social contract” in which individuals’ natural rights are primary as well as natural, and moral obligations are not derived from any natural relation by which human beings benefit one another but only from consent. So understood, society is constituted by the agreement and will of the present generation rather than by moral obligation derived from benefits freely given by the preceding generations. This paper considers whether Tocqueville’s account of the origin and development of American democratic society is closer to the medieval Catholic understanding or to the modern account and inquires how strong his affinity for either might be.
7. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Alfred R. D’Anca, Omar Nagi Why Enough Is Not Enough: Toward a General Theory of Crime in the High Suites by Integration of Sociological and Catholic Social Perspectives
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At the onset of the twenty-first century, egregious criminality by elite status offenders in the corporate milieu has emerged, with significant social and victim impact. Due to the lack of pertinent empirical data, the study of white-collar crime has been relatively more focused on the type of offense rather than the offender. This paper develops a theoretical model, founded on sociological and criminological literature and critically complemented by the principles of Catholic social thought, to understand elite white-collar criminality. We establish that the incentive structure is very different at the elite level than in lower social-economic levels of society. Specifically, we address the significance of socio-cultural influences on the corporate economic environment, assessed with interpretative insight supplied by Catholic social principles, to provide a distinctive view of elite white-collar offenders, with further research and policy implications.
8. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Michael Wenisch The Student Loan Crisis and the Future of Higher Education
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The crisis in student loans has grown to the point that outstanding student loan debt will likely exceed $1 trillion in early 2012. Yet employment prospects for college graduates have grown alarmingly bleak, particularly since 2008. The downturn in the world economy since 2008 is itself, in substantial measure, the outcome of the historic peaking of world oil production rates within the past six years. With the onset of permanent oil production rate declines within a few years’ time, the world economy faces an epoch of contraction destined to last decades. These broader economic developments are setting the stage for a tragic bursting of the bubble in student loan debt. The situation also raises acute moral questions revolving around a basic conflict between the interests of the institutional complex of higher education and the masses of students who financially sustain that complex.
9. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Eileen P. Kelly, Thomas E. Kelly A Retrospective on Public Policy Threats to Religious Liberty in the Workplace
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Catholic employers and employees have been under increasing attack in the last fifty years by a growing number of public policy encroachments in the workplace that are in direct conflict with their religious convictions. In some instances, these threats have been successfully parried. Others remain a source of serious conflict. This article will summarize highlights of the last fifty years of public policy and jurisprudence as they relate to the ability of Catholic institutions to practice and enforce non-negotiable Catholic moral doctrines.
10. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Carson Holloway Tocqueville, Religion, and Modernity
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The contributions to this symposium shed light on Tocqueville’s ambiguities. His approach to political philosophy combines both ancient and modern elements, both aristocratic and democratic tendencies.
11. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Guillermo Montes Evaluating the Social Justice Implications of the New Theory of Dynamic Monopsony
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This paper describes current theoretical developments in labor economics that are likely to change how we understand the compensation of employees in a wage economy. The new theory of dynamic monopsony theorizes that imperfect labor markets where employees do not get paid their full marginal revenue product are the norm, rather than the exception. Recent empirical work published in a highly ranked, peer-reviewed labor-economics journal provided empirical support for the model. I discuss the implications of these developments in labor economics on the justice of wages within the framework provided by Catholic Social Teaching.
12. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Robert Abelman The Verbiage of Vision: Mission and Identity in Theologically Conservative Catholic Colleges and Universities
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Since Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Catholic colleges and universities have made a conscientious effort to better embed a declaration of religious identity and its defining values and guiding principles into their institutional mission and vision statements. So too has a new wave of Catholic colleges and universities whose leadership has accused Catholic higher education of compromising faith to conform to an increasingly secular world. A content analysis of the mission and vision statements from a nationwide sample of these institutions was performed and key linguistic components found to constitute a well conceived, viable and easily diffused institutional vision were isolated. Findings reveal significant stylistic differences across religious institution types in terms of vision, clarity, complexity, pragmatics, optimism, and their use of language to unify the campus community. How mission and vision statements can better serve as guiding, governing and promotional documents is discussed.
13. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Joseph Almeida Constitutionalism in Burke’s Reflections as Critique of the Enlightenment Ideas of Originative Political Consent and the Social Compact
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Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France is an anti-Enlightenment tract. His treatment therein of the British constitution (and constitutionalism in general) is set in critical opposition to the Enlightenment philosophical principles that animated the French Revolution. However, he often employs the very terms of Enlightenment political theory in framing his criticisms of Enlightenment principles. The solution to this interpretive problem is that Burke purposefully employed Enlightenment terminology in the Reflections precisely to signal his specific intention to criticize the key Enlightenment notion of political consent and to transform the Enlightenment theory of social compact into a theory of constitutionalism, understood as the generational transmission of prescriptive political institutions. Proof comes through a reading of the Reflections limited by the parameters of the problem of interpretation, which in turn indicates some general aspects of a Burkean theory of the political and social order.
14. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Stephen M. Krason The Sixties Redivivus: The “Occupy Wall Street” Protests
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This article is one of SCSS President Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right but Catholic” online columns. It looks at the “Occupy Wall Street” protests, and aims primarily at drawing a comparison between them and the protests of the 1960s. It also assesses them in light of Catholic social teaching.
15. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Kenneth L. Grasso The Freedom of the Church and the Taming of Leviathan: The Christian Revolution, Dignitatis Humanae, and Western Liberty
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This essay explores the impact of the ancient principle of the freedom of the Church—identified by the Second Vatican Council as “the fundamental principle” governing “the relations between the Church and governments and the whole civil order”—on both Western civilization and the development of modern Catholic social thought. Arguing that this principle requires the articulation and institutionalization of a new understanding of society and government, it contends this principle revolutionized the structure of Western political life and helped lay the groundwork for Western liberty. At the same time, it maintains that the development in contemporary Catholic social teaching that crystallizes in Dignitatis Humanae must be seen in the context of the ongoing effort of Catholic thought to understand the nature and role of the state towards which the idea of the freedom of the Church points.
16. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Edward J. O’Boyle Profit Maximization and the Subjective Dimension of Work
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To be consistent with John Paul II’s assertion of the primacy of the subjective dimension of work—of “being” versus “having”—it is necessary to reject profit maximization as the primary objective of the firm. In its place, the author proposes instead that the firm’s foremost objective is the maximization of personalist capital. Properly understood, profits are a necessary condition for the firm’s survival but not its primary goal. The concept of personalist capital in effect incorporates the subjective dimension of work into microeconomic theory without dismissing the objective dimension entirely.
17. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Gary D. Glenn Symposium: Tocqueville and Catholicism: Introduction
18. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Paul A. Rahe Tocqueville on Christianity and the Natural Equality of Man
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Democracy in America never mentions the Declaration of Independence. Is this perhaps a sign of hostility to the Declaration’s natural-rights teaching or to abstract principles? Or is it no more significant than The Federalist’s silence on this matter? Both are books of political science, not political philosophy; yet, when appropriate, Tocqueville addresses first principles, and endorses a natural-rights doctrine similar to Locke’s. He wrote primarily for the French, addressing issues he thought decisive for them, especially reconciling the ultra-royalists and the French Catholic Church to the new democratic order. This guided the aspects of American democracy he wanted to emphasize. Thus Jesus Christ’s coming to earth was a political turning point in human history because he “made it understood that all members of the human species are naturally alike and equal.” Given aristocratic dominance in ancient society, without that event the principle of equality might never have been discovered.
19. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Ronald J. Rychlak Pope Pius XII: About Those Archives
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Questions about Pope Pius XII’s leadership during World War II continue to color Catholic-Jewish relations. While many scholars have engaged in research on the topic, a growing number argue that no conclusions can be reached until all relevant Vatican archives have been opened and reviewed. This paper argues that currently open Vatican archives, supplemented with eyewitness accounts and documents from other sources, provide a consistent portrait of the wartime pope as a champion of the victims, opponent of the villains, and inspiration to the rescuers. As such, even without opening additional archives, the documentary record supports the Holy See’s determination that Pius XII led a life of “heroic virtue.”
20. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 17
Ryan J. Barilleaux Dystopia and the Gospel of Life
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Two works of speculative fiction present visions of a dystopian future in which human life and human dignity are attacked in the name of pleasure and the greater good. These works, Huxley’s Brave New World and Percy’s The Thanatos Syndrome, not only anticipate several key aspects of the prophetic message of Evangelium Vitae, but they help to make concrete and to illustrate the dangers that John Paul II was warning the world about in his 1995 encyclical.