Journal of Catholic Social Thought

Volume 20, Issue 1, Winter 2023

Honoring Johan Verstraeten

Johan VerstraetenOrcid-ID
Pages 7-26

From Ideology to Discernment: Rethinking Catholic Social Thought in a Context of Crisis

The article argues against the tendency to reaffirm Catholic social thought as Catholic “doctrine” and proposes a reinterpretation in view of the participation of the Church in the transformation of the world. Revisiting Chenu’s critique of Catholic social thought as ideology, the article argues for a reinterpretation of Catholic social thought as Catholic social and ecological discernment in response to the contemporary megacrisis. That such a discernment requires reflective practice and forward-looking imagination is articulated in the light of the thought of John Paul Lederach and Otto Scharmer.