Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action


This new Classroom Edition of the top-selling Living Justice retains the broad coverage of Catholic social teaching in the first edition with an expanded use of tables and figures to enhance the pedagogy in Fr. Massaro's clear, insightful book. New coverage focuses on the issues of the environment and globalization from a Catholic perspective. By drawing on scripture, tradition, world events, and living examples of heroism and holiness, Living Justice develops students' understanding of Catholic social teaching ...
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This new Classroom Edition of the top-selling Living Justice retains the broad coverage of Catholic social teaching in the first edition with an expanded use of tables and figures to enhance the pedagogy in Fr. Massaro's clear, insightful book. New coverage focuses on the issues of the environment and globalization from a Catholic perspective. By drawing on scripture, tradition, world events, and living examples of heroism and holiness, Living Justice develops students' understanding of Catholic social teaching and provides inspiration for a committed life of service.

About the Author:
Thomas Massaro, S.J., is professor of moral theology and director of the S.T.L. Program at the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College

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Editorial Reviews

New Theology Review
[A] splendid little book. Massaro achieves his aims well in this very readable resource, useful not only for the general Catholic population, but also for Church leaders, educators, and activists.
Brian Scott
Massaro provides a necessary companion text to any course that deals with issues of social justice, the role of the Church in the modern world, or the relationship between religion and public policy. It is simultaneously academically rigorous and easily accessible to students. Broad, honest, and practical, it serves a variety of courses and invites much needed dialogue between religion that has become increasingly privatized in the public square.
Jon Nilson
This new, updated edition of Living Justice will be enthusiastically welcomed by all who want to give their students an accurate, comprehensive, and reader-friendly introduction to Catholic social teaching.
James R. Stormes
I am grateful for this updated edition of Tom Massaro's Living Justice. I have used the earlier edition for several years now, and my students have found it a clear and accessible presentation. However, as Fr. Massaro notes, Catholic social teaching is not a static genre as Benedict XVI extended and enriched it with his Encyclical Caritas in Veritate in 2009. The new edition integrates this important contribution, particularly in Benedict's treatment of the global economy and the environment. I continue to find particularly helpful the Questions for Reflection provided at the end of each chapter, as well as the quite useful section on Applying Catholic Social Teaching in the Real World, always the challenge for my students and for all of us in the Church.
Peter H. Beisheim
I enthusiastically endorse the text for the following reasons:

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.

Mary Ann Baran
I like the updated sections that serve to make the text more relevant and current and real!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580510462
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Series: Come and See Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 254
  • Sales rank: 806,056
  • Product dimensions: 5.27 (w) x 7.39 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas J. Massaro, S.J., is dean of Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables     vii
Preface     ix
Social Justice and the Mission of the Church     1
The Religious Motivation for Social Justice Efforts     3
Social Mission and Church Morale     7
Sharing "Our Best-Kept Secret"     8
From "Charity Alone" to a Justice Orientation     9
Looking Ahead     14
Questions for Reflection     14
Topics for Further Research     15
Going Public with Your Faith     17
Bridging Two Distinct Worlds     17
Tertullian's Question     19
The Perils of the Crusading Spirit     22
Religious Idealism: Its Contribution to Politics     25
Maintaining a Delicate Balance     27
Together on Pilgrimage     29
Questions for Reflection     30
Topics for Further Research     31
Inheriting the Tradition of Catholic Social Teaching     33
The Documentary Heritage     34
A Look Back to the Nineteenth Century     40
Pioneers of Social Catholicism     43
The Writing of the Social Encyclicals     46
Questions for Relfection     52
Topics for Further Research     52
TheSources and Methods of Catholic Social Teaching     55
The Four Sources of Christian Ethics     56
Universal Principles and Local Applications     75
Questions for Reflection     76
Topics for Further Research     77
Nine Key Themes of Catholic Social Teaching     79
The Dignity of Every Person and Human Rights     80
Solidarity, Common Good, and Participation     84
Family Life     87
Subsidiarity and the Proper Role of Government     89
Property Ownership in Modern Society: Rights and Responsibilities     91
The Dignity of Work, Rights of Workers, and Support for Labor Unions     95
Colonialism and Economic Development     97
Peace and Disarmament     103
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable     112
Questions for Reflection     116
Topics for Further Research     117
The Role of Catholic Social Teaching Today     119
A Blueprint? An Ideology? A "Third Way"?     119
The Catholic Critique of Communism     126
The Catholic Critique of Capitalism     129
Applying Catholic Social Teaching in the Real World     134
Commitments to Social Justice: Heroic and Ordinary      140
Questions for Reflection     142
Topics for Further Research     144
Future Directions for Catholic Social Teaching     145
Four Continuities: Further Shifts in Emphasis     145
Two New Challenges: The Environment and Globalization     158
Spreading the Word about Catholic Social Teaching     171
The Surprising Future     175
Questions for Reflection     176
Topics for Further Research     177
Annotated List of Resources for Further Study     179
Index     185
About the Author     191
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2000

    Highly readable summary of Catholic social teaching

    '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.

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