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1. The text balances and integrates very well the historical development of Catholic Social Teaching, the core values of CST, and its application to present day and future societal issues.
2. The “Questions for Reflection” at the end of chapters is an excellent pedagogical feature. I will recommend to my students that they read the questions first in order to provide them a context in which to read the specific chapter.
3. For courses and programs that require a strong writing component, Massaro’s suggestions contained in the 'Topics for Further Research' provide a valuable assistance for both students and instructor.
4. The interdisciplinary nature of the text would be an excellent requirement for a 'Learning-Community”'project which links a Catholic Social Teaching course with an appropriate course in Political Science, Sociology or History or as a supplemental text in any course exploring Social Justice regardless of the discipline.
5. The text is extremely accessible to undergraduates, parish adult education programs and at the same time quite appropriate for the graduate level course.
Posted April 27, 2000
'Social teaching' is shorthand for the Church's views on how its members should act in the larger secular world around them. Thomas Massaro does a masterful job of outlining the sources of these teachings (from scripture, tradition, reason and experience), the evolution of them over the centuries (paying particular attention to Church documents and papal encyclicals since the late 19th century) and the major issues of the present day. While informative and thought-provoking, this book is not heavy reading by a long shot. It is written for the general reader, and scrupulously adheres to plain-English explanations of all concepts. This book is part of a series ('Come & See')designed for the general reader who wants an introduction to major topics in Roman Catholic doctrine. Thomas Massaro is a subject matter expert who couldn't find a book that summarizes Catholic social teaching. Finally, he was drafted to write just that volume, and did a fine job of it here. He's particularly engaging when he discusses the age-old debate over how involved the believer should become in secular society. Some withdraw from the world to avoid being corrupted by it (e.g., the Amish), while others see a duty to 'work within the system' to improve the world (all the while being sensitive to the opinions of people with contrasting beliefs). Throughout, Massaro presents contrasting viewpoints well. Let me make a disclaimer. The author enlisted me to read and comment upon his first draft. That may bias my opinion. I was truly amazed, though, by how good the initial draft was, and how little needed adjustment. This is a first-rate teacher.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.