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41. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 18
Stephen Nakrosis The Ethics of Speculation in the Works of Oswald von Nell-Breuning
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The Jesuit theologian and economist, Oswald von Nell-Breuning (1890–1991), struggled with the question of how the conscientious Christian could properly use financial tools, including speculative trades. One of Germany’s most-respected economists during his lifetime, Nell-Breuning’s observations of the market span his 100-plus years, from the heady years prior to the Great Depression to the more modern and global financial markets of the late twentieth century. This paper will introduce some of his ideas regarding speculative trades, discuss his conclusions regarding the morality of speculative transactions, and attempt to apply his ideas and observations to the modern financial sphere.
42. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 18
Bishop William Francis Murphy The Social Initiatives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
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From its beginning, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has been concerned with promoting Catholic social teaching (CST) in the American context. A review of the recent history and trajectory of the conference’s statements suggests that the bishops are likely moving away from an approach that stresses the bishops’ role as collectors and promoters of expert opinion on specific economic policy, and toward a more restrained role as teachers of the principles of CST—a move that is based theologically in the teachings of Vatican II on the respective roles of clergy and laity. [The following is a revised version of an address delivered to the Society of Catholic Social Scientists Annual Conference, New York, October 27, 2012. Updates have been added within the endnotes.]
43. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 18
Joel Clarke Gibbons The Natural Need for Public Standards: The Case of Marriage Law
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The conventional defense of same-sex “marriage” is that it frees men and women to choose the way they define marriage, but that calls for something that is quite impossible because marriage is a social reality. Like all such products of socialization, it is learned behavior, and it is learned from the established cultural norms. When we contemplate marriage, we confront an institution that we do not define for the simple reason that it does not matter to the individual what he means by marriage, what matters is what his or her mate means by marriage. That shared value is by necessity learned because it is a commitment that cannot otherwise be communicated in a credible way.
44. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 18
Bruce P. Frohnen The Problem with Empathy: Constitutional Agnosticism, the Rights of Conscience, and the Quest for Community
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The Obama Administration’s contraceptive mandate, requiring all but the most insular religious organizations to pay the costs of a practice their religious tenets explicitly reject, raises fundamental issues regarding the rights of conscience in the contemporary United States. This article examines recent attempts to defend religious liberty on the grounds that the state should take care not to violate the rights of individual conscience. The problem with such an approach, this article argues, is that, in the name of a justice system more sensitive to individual beliefs, it further erodes the rights of religious associations to act on the common beliefs of their members, undermining believers’ ability to actually act according on their faith.
45. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 18
Clement Anthony Mulloy John A. Ryan and the Issue of Family Limitation
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One of the most prominent Catholic social thinkers of the twentieth century, Msgr. John A. Ryan, devoted significant attention to the issues of birth control and family limitation. Although he is well known for his writings on labor and wages, scholars have paid less attention to Ryan’s work on birth control. He deliberately employed a strategy of concentrating on contraception’s harmful effects on society, and his effort represents an important early twentieth-century attempt to persuade the American public of the Catholic viewpoint on a matter of major political and cultural importance.
46. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 18
Adam Tate South Carolina Catholics and the Know Nothing Challenge: The Charleston Elections of 1855
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South Carolina Catholics defended themselves against the nativist attacks of the Know Nothings during the 1855 Charleston city elections by portraying themselves as loyal southerners and Americans. During the political battle, a number of South Carolina Democrats rose to defend their Catholic neighbors from nativist attacks. By the end of the election cycle, South Carolina Catholics had adopted a critique of centralized state power that gelled with broader Carolinian political concerns, bringing them closer to the South Carolina political and cultural mainstream.
47. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
L. Joseph Hebert Response to Gary Glenn and Kenneth Grasso: Tocqueville, Catholicism, and the Art of Being Free
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This paper discusses the erosion of the conditions of American civic education and engagement described by Tocqueville, the connection between Tocqueville’s understanding of democracy and the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the contribution of both civic and religious decline to the threat of democratic despotism as discussed by Gary Glenn and Kenneth Grasso in their symposium papers. It concludes by asking what students of Tocqueville and of Catholic social doctrine can learn from one another about questions of God, human nature, and the proper influence of the social state on our understanding of moral and political duties and rights.
48. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Kenneth L. Grasso Catholicism and “the Great Political Problem of Our Time”: Tocqueville, Vatican II, and the Problem of Limited Government in the Age of Democracy
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This essay compares the reflections of Tocqueville and the Second Vatican Council on the perils of modern civilization as they relate to the question of limited government. While their analyses diverge in some respects, both Tocqueville and the Council are concerned about the proclivity of the modern state to absorb all of human life and see this political danger as the expression of a deeper crisis prompted by the secularization of Western culture. Convinced that this threat cannot be addressed at the political level alone, both conclude that the principle of limited government cannot be successfully institutionalized absent a far-reaching religious renewal. In Tocqueville’s famous formulation, “despotism can do without faith, but not liberty.”
49. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Brian Jones Aristotelian Political Philosophy, the Wise Many, and Catholic Social Teaching
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In order for individual Catholics to be able to properly comprehend, articulate, and prudentially apply certain foundational components of Catholic social teaching, they need to have a sound grasp of classical political philosophy, particularly as it has come to us through Aristotle. Aristotle’s political thought helps to provide a strong foundation for understanding man’s life as a political animal while simultaneously acknowledging that man’s ultimate destiny is apolitical. Specifically, the convergence of Aristotle’s thought and Catholic social teaching can be seen in, but is not limited to, the following areas: the goodness of political society and authority, choice of regime, and the transpolitical character of the faith. These points of Aristotelian political philosophy, often misunderstood in light of modern liberalism, can assist Catholics in bearing public witness to the essential relationship between faith and political life, since the goodness of political life must be aligned with the truth of who man is, something that both Aristotle and Catholic social teaching rightly affirm.
50. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Steven J. Brust Introduction
51. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Daniel Mahoney Christianity, Democracy, Socialism: Tocqueville’s Defense of a Limited Public Charity in Politics
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This article analyzes Alexis de Tocqueville’s eloquent and noble 1848 “Speech on the Right to Work.” The speech provides Tocqueville’s most powerful and sustained critique of socialism. Socialism is taken to task for its “energetic, continuous , immoderate appeal to the material passions of men,” for its “continuous” attack on the “very principles of private property,” and for its scorn for individual reason and initiative. Tocqueville argues that democracy and socialism are at their heart “contradictory things.” But at the same time, Tocqueville affirms a Christian and democratic obligation for government to provide “public charity” for the poor. For all his concerns about tutelary despotism and the socialist subversion of democracy, he did not oppose the welfare state per se, at least in a modest form. The article shows that Tocqueville’s “Christian democratic” vision provides a principled, humane, and morally serious alternative to both libertarianism and collectivism.
52. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
David M. Klocek In Memoriam: Thomas P. Melady (1927-2014)
53. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
D. Brian Scarnecchia Response to a Call for Papers from the World Health Organization
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This document, drafted by SCSS Treasurer and UN Non-Governmental Organization Representative D. Brian Scarnecchia, was submitted on behalf of the SCSS and a sister Catholic NGO in response to a request for papers concerning recommendations to improve maternal health and reduce child mortality as part of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
54. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Stephen M. Krason In Memoriam: Rupert J. Ederer (1923-2013)
55. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Stephen M. Krason On Our Dysfunctional Criminal Justice System
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This was one of SCSS president and Franciscan University of Steubenville professor Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left Nor Right, but Catholic” columns that appeared initially in Crisismagazine.com on May 1, 2013. It argues why the U.S. criminal justice system is in a state of crisis. It argues that what seem to be ideologically-oriented critiques of the problems of the system actually have their basis in traditional Christian thinking.
56. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Society of Catholic Social Scientists 21st Annual National Meeting-Conference: Franciscan University of Steubenville, October 25-26, 2013
57. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Mark Gonnella Authentic Sexual Freedom: John Paul II’s Personalism as a Response to Humanistic Psychology
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The inadequacy of secular humanistic understandings of human sexuality has been demonstrated in the contemporary dissatisfaction with the superficiality of sexual activity and romantic relationships. The limitations of the secular psychology that gave rise to the debased contemporary view of sexuality—exemplified in the work of Carl Rogers—can be overcome by applying the fuller personalist anthropology of Pope John Paul II. This application is made by examining the topics of man’s relationship with God, subjectivity versus subjectivism, the source and character of morality, the nature of freedom, and the nature of marriage.
58. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Edward J. O'Boyle Freedom of Economic Initiative, Intermediary Groups, and a Personalist Economy
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This article is concerned with four questions. How are decisions made in economic affairs? What role does freedom play in a market economy? How important is freedom in a market economy? How best to preserve freedom of economic initiative? Based on responses to those questions, we argue that a personalist economy with its reliance on intermediary groups and preservation of economic freedom represents an alternative to the individualism of capitalism and the collectivism of socialism. The evidence presented breaks the stereotype of private group decision-making as collusive and demonstrates that a personalist economy is a functioning reality in the United States.
59. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Adam Seagrave Response to Daniel Mahoney: Is Tocqueville’s “Middle Way” Adequate?
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This response to Daniel Mahoney’s symposium paper raises the question of whether Tocqueville’s “middle way” between libertarianism and socialism is ultimately tenable, due to the tendency of people under democratic regimes to pursue equality more passionately than they defend liberty.
60. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 19
Jeffrey S. Burwell, S.J. An Educational Crisis in the Land of Jesus: Unprecedented Challenges Facing Catholic Schools in East Jerusalem and the West Bank
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The New Evangelization presumes that Catholic schools play a valuable role in spreading the gospel and transmitting the faith. For the first time in their collective history, demographic changes have nevertheless made it difficult for Catholic schools in East Jerusalem and the West Bank to do this. Using a mixed-method study with data obtained from fourteen institutions, this study determined that the mandate of these schools is affected by challenges related to their Catholic identity and financial stability. With limited resources at their disposal, administrators of these institutions are in a precarious situation. Without strong leadership and support from the international community, the future of Catholic education in the region is uncertain.