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161. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
C.J. Wolfe Lessons from the Friendship of Jacques Maritain with Saul Alinsky
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This essay looks into the paradoxical friendship of Jacques Maritain, a Catholic philosopher, and Saul Alinsky, a radical community organizer. Commentators Bernard Doering and Charles Curran have used the fact of this friendship to draw the erroneous conclusion that Maritain approved of Alinsky’s philosophy. However, a closer look at their respective writings shows that Maritain and Alinsky retained profound disagreements on basic philosophical issues. Particular attention is paid to Maritain’s letter in response to Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, in which Maritain raised objections to many of Alinsky’s ideas. Thus, Maritain didnot compromise his Christian worldview.
162. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Gerard V. Bradley We Hold These Truths and the Problem of Public Morality
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This essay maintains that although We Hold These Truths represented an important milestone in Catholic reflection on the American regime, Murray’s analysis of public morality and the state’s role in its promotion and enforcement is notably weak and of little assistance to us today. More specifically, it argues that Murray’s analysis is insufficiently philosophical and too concerned with the pragmatic task of forging an approach widely acceptable in the America of his day; that it rests on an artificial distinction between “private” and “public” morality that fails to sufficiently appreciate the essential dependence of sound morals legislation upon the government’s recognition of moral truth; and that it too closely identifies the whole of law’s competence with the scope of its coercive jurisdiction, thus failing to appreciate the directive and educative properties of law and its role in the establishment of conditions conducive to human flourishing.
163. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Stephen M. Krason Neither Left nor Right but Catholic: On Professor Brennan’s Interpretations of Catholic Social Teaching
164. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Stephen Bullivant Caritas in Veritate and the Allocation of Scarce Resources
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The allocation of finite resources is a pressing concern at all levels of government. Such decisions are not only, of necessity, moral ones, but are in many cases, directly or indirectly, literally matters of life and death. As such, they are a proper and important concern for Catholic social thought. Previous researchers have explored what insights and principles may be gleaned from Catholic social teaching, as principally expressed in formal pronouncements of the Magisterium, with regard to the theory of resource allocation. The purpose of this short article is to explore what Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 Caritas in Veritate might add to,modify, or take from, what has gone before.
165. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
L. Joseph Hebert Tocqueville’s “Administrative Decentralization” and the Catholic Principle of Subsidiarity
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This article offers an outline of administrative decentralization, subsidiarity, and related principles as they emerge from Tocqueville’s account of American democracy and the social teachings of the Catholic Church, respectively, accompanied by an analysis of the philosophic and theological underpinnings of each account. This analysis reveals a profound theoretical as well as practical harmony between the two notions: namely, that both are grounded in the potential of human beings to perfect themselves through virtuous actions, which society must foster in a fashion that preserves the freedom of citizens, who can achieve thecommon good only by taking active responsibility for it.
166. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
John F. Quinn The Enduring Influence of We Hold These Truths
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John Courtney Murray’s landmark work, We Hold These Truths, was conceived and brought into being by the editors of Sheed & Ward, who wanted to bring Murray’s work to a broad cross-section of America. When it first appeared, the book was reviewed favorably in both religious and secular journals. Political conservatives were particularly enthusiastic about its defense of natural law principles and its opposition to secularism. By the late 1960s, liberal Catholics interested in legalizing abortion began citing its distinctions between public and private morality. In the 1980s, neoconservative Catholic thinkers embraced the book for much the same reason that conservatives had endorsed it in 1960. While many other Catholic thinkers on both the left and right have grown more critical of the work in recent years, neoconservatives have remained its most dedicated adherents.
167. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Joel Gibbons Work, Labor, and Social Justice
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Work provides the opportunities that social justice distributes. Without work there isn’t even the possibility of justice. On the one side, this fact calls us to think clearly about what works and about what creates value in the economic world, and about how this is forged into economic justice. This short essay focuses on that junction between work and justice, drawing on two recent encyclicals for their insight into justice, and drawing on recent economic history for insight into what actually works economically. In the end one conclusion becomes clear: our work is justified by what it teaches us and nourishes in us, but even more it is judged by the objective value of what it produces.
168. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Kenneth L. Grasso Getting Murray Right
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This essay seeks to dispel two common misunderstandings of the argument of We Hold These Truths. Contrary to what is sometimes asserted, it argues, Murray does not turn the American founding into an expression of Thomistic political theory. Although he emphasizes the Christian and medieval roots of the American democratic experiment, Murray also recognizes—even if he does not explore the point systematically—the imprint left on the American founding bydistinctively modern intellectual currents. Likewise, it maintains that although the rejection of the natural law tradition under the impact of Enlightenment rationalism figures prominently in Murray’s account of the crisis of the modern West, Murray’s account of the role of natural law in this crisis must be seen against the backdrop of a broader analysis whose focus is theological and spiritual in nature, and which sees the ultimate source of this crisis in modern culture’s rejection of Christian revelation.
169. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
William Gould We Hold These Truths and the Pluralist Civilization
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This essay explores the project undertaken by Murray in We Hold These Truths and its relevance to contemporary America. When it first appeared in 1960, We Hold These Truths made a powerful case to the American public for the compatibility of Catholicism and American democracy and of the need for a renewal of America’s historic public consensus rooted in natural law. It also emphasized the role that the Catholic political tradition could play in this renewal. Although parts of its argument may be problematic, and vast changes in America’s cultural and religious landscape make it dated in some respects, five decades after its original publication, Murray’s book nevertheless remains highly relevant to our contemporary situation, both as a contribution to democratic theory and as a profound reflection on the nature of “the civilization of the pluralist society.”
170. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
David Gilbert Sacraments and the State: Lessons from the Mexican Reforma
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The Mexican Reforma is often considered a classic example of the power struggles that occurred between church and state throughout the nineteenth century. However, since in this case both sides claimed to be Catholic, the most important battles in Mexico were actually intra ecclesiam. Ultimately, it was a fight over access to the sacraments that drove Mexico into civil war, transforming both the Church and society in the process. The current debate in the United States over allowing public figures who violate Church teaching to receive Holy Communion should be considered within the context of the Mexican experience.
171. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 16
Francis Woehrling Caritas in Veritate: Love Shaping the Real World Through Rational Understanding
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The significance of the title of Benedict XVI’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate has not been adequately appreciated. It is the first social encyclical with an expressly theological title. Benedict calls for Catholics to shape the economic world (specifically, globalization) with Christian love.
172. 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.)
173. 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.
174. 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.
175. 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.
176. 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
177. 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.
178. 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.
179. 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.
180. 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.