The Social Mission of the U.S. Catholic Church: A Theological Perspective

Overview

How does the Church function in the world? What is it called to do, and what does it actually do? Charles E. Curran explores the social mission of the U.S. Catholic Church from a theological perspective, analyzing and assessing four aspects: the importance of social mission, who carries it out, how it is carried out, and the roles that the Church and individual Catholics play in supporting these efforts.

In the early and mid-twentieth century the Catholic Church in the United ...

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Overview

How does the Church function in the world? What is it called to do, and what does it actually do? Charles E. Curran explores the social mission of the U.S. Catholic Church from a theological perspective, analyzing and assessing four aspects: the importance of social mission, who carries it out, how it is carried out, and the roles that the Church and individual Catholics play in supporting these efforts.

In the early and mid-twentieth century the Catholic Church in the United States tended to focus its social mission on its own charities, hospitals, and schools. But the Second Vatican Council called the Church to a new understanding of social mission, deepening its involvement in and commitment to civic, social, and political life in the United States and abroad. Curran devotes particular attention to three issues that have reflected the Church's strong sense of social mission since that time: abortion, war and peace, and labor.

The Social Mission of the U.S. Catholic Church describes the proper role of bishops, institutions, and movements in the Church, but insists that the primary role belongs to all the baptized members of the Church as they live out the social mission in their daily lives.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589017436
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press
  • Publication date: 2/15/2011
  • Series: Moral Traditions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles E. Curran, a Roman Catholic priest of the Diocese of Rochester, New York, is Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values at Southern Methodist University. He was the first recipient of the John Courtney Murray Award for Theology and has served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the Society of Christian Ethics, and the American Theological Society. He is the author of Loyal Dissent: Memoir of a Catholic Theologian, The Moral Theology of Pope John Paul II, and Catholic Moral Theology in the United States: A History, which won the 2008 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence in Theology and Religion.

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Table of Contents

Preface

1. Early Historical Context and Taking Care of Our Own

2. The Social Mission of the Church in the First Part of the Twentieth Century

3. The Understanding of the Church after Vatican II

4. Vatican II and a New Understanding of the Social Mission

5. Post-Vatican II Development of Three Earlier Instances of the Social Mission

6. Three Significant Issues in the Post-Vatican II Church

7. Roles of the Church in Supporting the Social Mission

8. U.S. Bishops and Abortion Law

Conclusions: Looking Backward and Forward

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