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Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 25, 2020

Mark Therrien
Pages 69-85

Ama et labora
Augustine’s Theology of Work as a Resource for Catholic Social Teaching

In Laborem exercens, Pope St. John Paul II proposes some fundamental “Elements for a Spirituality of Work.” In thinking about the future development of a theologically robust “Spirituality of Work,” this paper explores Augustine’s theology of labor. It frames its examination by setting forth the philosophical evaluation of labor contemporary to Augustine. It then appraises the different facets of Augustine’s teaching on labor in De opere monachorum. Finally, it looks to his De Genesi ad literam for a more developed account of labor, which is grounded (ultimately) in the very being of God, who himself labors in his creation.

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