Catholic Social Teaching, Economic Inequality, and American Society

Journal of Religious Ethics 47 (2):283-310 (2019)
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Abstract

The essay begins with an explanation of the underlying theological vision that supports Catholic social teaching's commitment to the centrality of the common good and the role of solidarity as both a virtue and a norm. The vision of humanity as one family and the church as a sacrament of unity is the foundation for a communitarian ethic that prizes inclusion, participation, and relative equality in the quest for a truly just society. An array of social science studies is then employed to show that economic inequality “bleeds” into other realms of public life to undermine fundamental commitments of American society, namely, equal opportunity and political democracy. The essay concludes that an understanding of Catholic social teaching promotes a critical perspective that is deeply at odds with ongoing trends in the U.S. economy.

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Citations of this work

Solidarity and the New Inequality.Paul Weithman - 2019 - Journal of Religious Ethics 47 (2):311-336.
Religious Ethics and Economic Inequality.Paul Weithman - 2019 - Journal of Religious Ethics 47 (2):223-231.

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References found in this work

Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality.Michael Walzer - 1983 - Journal of Business Ethics 4 (1):63-64.
On Inequality: Princeton University Press.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2015 - Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Solidarity and the New Inequality.Paul Weithman - 2019 - Journal of Religious Ethics 47 (2):311-336.
Heterodox Economics, Social Ethics, and Inequalities.Christina McRorie - 2019 - Journal of Religious Ethics 47 (2):232-258.
Pacem in Terris.John Xxiii - 2004 - Journal of Catholic Social Thought 1 (1):157-199.

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