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41. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Lawrence T. Nichols Integralism and Positive Psychology: a Comparison of Sorokin and Seligman
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Pitirim A. Sorokin’s Integralism, which advocates the synthesis of the truths of faith, of reason, and of the senses, accords well with traditional Christian and Catholic approaches to the philosophy of science. Sorokin’s writings on this topic include a prophetic dimension, in which Sorokin argues that social scientists would soon abandon the dominant but moribund paradigm of the Sensate cultural supersystem, and seek a new approach based on Integralist principles. Recently, in the field of psychology, a movement calling itself “Positive Psychology” has appeared, which likewise calls for a fundamental reorientation ofits professional discipline. This paper examines the emerging model of Positive Psychology, especially as articulated in the works of two of its main proponents, Martin E. Seligman and Christopher Peterson, in order to determine the extent to which it is congruent with Sorokin’s Integralism, and thus the extent to which it might contribute to a reformed social science that recognizes an explicitly spiritual dimension of human personality, human behavior and social order.
42. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Christopher J. Thompson Preliminary Remarks Toward A Constructive Encounter Between St. Thomas and Clinical Psychology
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This article address the ways in which contemporary psychologists might usefully engage in a dialogue with Catholic philosophers and theologians influenced by the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. The specific point of common agreement and vision between these diverse approaches lies in the general notion that human action is directed toward an end which the individual judges to be good in some sense. Despite the considerable differences in foundational issues, boththe clinical psychologist and Thomist are perhaps able to come to a constructive, common vision around the notion that all human action is directed toward the achievement of some good.
43. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Lisa S. Matthews Teaching Sociology of the Family from a Catholic Perspective
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In today’s post-marriage culture, young people can benefit from the Church’s teachings on marriage and the family. In this paper, I discuss how to teach a college-level sociology of the family from a Catholic perspective. Cynical attitudes toward marriage and their behavioral outcomes (i.e., “hook ups” or short, sexual liaisons) make teaching challenging. However, students still express a desire for longterm, happy marriages and want to hear a hopeful message about marriage. The benefits of drawing on current theological and social scientific research while still adhering to magisterial teaching on the family is emphasized.
44. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Keith M. Cassidy Diagnosis and Prescription for Contemporary U.S. Catholicism
45. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Stephen R. Sharkey, Ph.D. Beyond Mills’ Sociological Imagination: Using a Pedagogy Based on Sorokin’s Integralism to Reach Today’s Introductory SociologyStudents
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In this paper I explore some important limitations of the typical pedagogy of introductory sociology based on C. W. Mills `sociological imagination, and suggest a deeper, more effective approach that incorporates the best of Mills’ idea but goes beyond it. Sociology faculty commonly hope that introductory students embrace a type of liberal political ideology embedded in how Mills originally defined the “sociological imagination,” but in today’s classroom one often encounters students for whom this teaching model does not work. I examine what might lay behind students’ seeming rejection of sociological disciplinary messages, a rejection rooted in their experience of a “horizontal” culture. Then I present certain teaching strategies, based on Sorokin’s “integral” sociology, that may assist faculty to more effectively reach students who seek something deeper and more meaningful than political leftism—something that respects and connects and grounds the empirical, the conceptual, and spiritual—but who lack the tools to pursue it because of how sociology has been framed for them.
46. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
G. Alexander Ross Integrating the Analysis of Social Problems with a Catholic Understanding of Man and Society
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Like much of modern scholarship, the study of social problems today is usually conducted in isolation from the truths of faith. Yet Catholics understand that the truths of science and the truths of faith are not in opposition but in harmony. This paper uses the Catholic concept of transcendent human dignity to integrate the scientific analysis of social problems with the Church’s understanding of man. This integral approach places the social scientist on a firm footing from which to identify the principal social problems of our day and to clarify the appropriate solutions, which would guard the dignity of the human person and facilitate his true flourishing.
47. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
John F. Quinn The Decline and Fall...and Revival of the Catholic Church in America
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In The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America, the sociologist David Carlin offers insightful explanations for why Catholicism began to unravel in the 1960s. Facing the aftershocks of Vatican II, the collapse of their cohesive urban neighborhoods, and the onslaught of the cultural revolution, American Catholics experienced a “perfect storm” from which they have yet to recover. Carlin sees little reason for optimism about the future. Among other things, he notes thebishops’ “appallingly poor” handling of the sex abuse scandal and their tolerance of homosexuality in the seminaries. While agreeing with mostof Carlin’s analysis, this reviewer is more optimistic about the future prospects of the Church in America.
48. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
David R. Carlin The Sudden Decline of the Catholic Church in America
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The crisis into which the Catholic Church in America fell in the late 1960s and early ‘70s (a crisis that is still with us) is in large measure the result of three factors that occurred more or less simultaneously, thereby creating a “perfect storm” for US Catholicism: (1) Vatican II, (2) the end of the so-called “Catholic ghetto,” and (3) the cultural revolution that swept the US beginning in the ‘60s. Just as Catholics were entering the mainstream of American culture, that culture was losing its old Protestant character and taking on a new, secularist character.
49. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Bevil Bramwell OMI John Paul II and Hans Urs von Balthasar: The Relationship between the Jews and the Church
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The views of two modern Catholic figures, John Paul II and Hans Urs von Balthasar, on the Jewish religion and the State of Israel are informed by their theological reflections that go back to the Christian Scriptures. There they identify the radical newness of Christianity and at the same time its profound roots and continuing debt to the Jewish Scriptures and to the continuing existence of the Jewish people and the Jewish religion. The tortured past history of relationsbetween the Catholic Church and the Jewish people and their religion apparently turned on the political exigencies of ‘protecting’ the daily exercise of Catholicism. In the modern historical period where on the one hand, the independent State of Israel exists and where on the other hand, Catholicism has no intrinsic need of a specific land, the theological principles of the need of and debt to Israel as the ‘elder brother’ and as the ‘stock’ onto which Christianity is inescapably grafted, has come to the fore and has led to a number of agreements, under John Paul II, between the Vatican and the State of Israel.
50. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Joseph A. Varacalli Did the Decline of Catholicism in Post-Vatican II America Have to be So Steep and Is the Climb Back Really So Improbable?: A Few Questions at the Margins
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The following comment expresses broad agreement with the Carlin thesis regarding the reasons leading to the decline in the health of the Catholic religion in the U.S. during the post-Vatican II era. Certain “questions at the margins” are raised, however, regarding such issues as:1. whether or not both a more orthodox episcopal leadership and Catholic intellectual elite could have lessened and can now reverse the decline; 2. the definition of what “American” means and whether contemporary secular elites can legitimately claim an organic connection to that heritage; and 3. whether or not the self-destructive tendencies of contemporary secular social life and policy have set the stage for a renewal within both American civilization and the Church in America.