The True Wealth of Nations: Catholic Social Thought and Economic Life

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The True Wealth of Nations arises from the conviction that implementing a morally adequate vision of the economy will generate sustainable prosperity for all. It sets forth the beginnings of an architecture of analysis for relating economic life and Christian faith-intellectually and experientially-and helps social scientists, theologians, and all persons of faith to appreciate the true wealth of any nation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Catholic social teaching by its very nature proposes the general values and principles that should guide economic life. This very well organized, interdisciplinary collection makes an important contribution by convincingly showing that the practical application of this teaching would put us on a path toward a goal of prosperity for all including the poor and marginalized. Anyone interested in Catholic social teaching needs to read this significant book."

—Charles E. Curran, author of The Social Mission of the U.S. Catholic Church: A Theological Investigation

"The True Wealth of Nations presents a provocative thesis: Catholic social thought can help map a path toward economic prosperity for all. Rigorous historical and social scientific evidence shows this claim is plausible. Normative arguments shaped by both Catholic and humanistic convictions show why this path ought to be followed. An invaluable contribution at the intersection of contemporary economic, ethical, and religious thought."

—David Hollenbach, S.J., University Chair in Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College

"Any book with chapters by Dan Finn, Alberto Barrera, Andy Yuengert, and Stefano Zamagni, among others, is bound to be thoughtful and pioneering. And this book is that and more. Can Catholic Social Thought provide guidelines for an economy that ensures sustainable prosperity for all? The authors claim that it can, and they present this claim in such a way that it can be supported or refuted by empirical evidence. This is a first."

—Charles K. Wilber, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

"...CST contributes significantly to economic prosperity deserves deep elaboration, and this book constitutes an excellent point of departure."—Ricardo F. Crespo, Universidad Austral

"This book is well suited for advanced student and scholars. It may also be helpful and accessible reading for professionals/practitioners...recommended."—CHOICE

"Each essay offers a different perspective on the impact of Catholic social thought as it relates to different aspects of economic policy, application and history."—John Skelley, New Catholic Books

"This volume is a welcome addition to the growing discourse of theology and economics. Not all efforts bring this kind of lucidity and expertise to such a critical area of interdisciplinary research. Given the discourse remains a true dialogue, we can look forward to the insights of the project's coming endeavors."—The Journal of Religion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199739813
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/23/2010
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel K. Finn teaches Economics and Theology at St. John's University in Collegeville Minnesota. He has published widely on economics and ethics, including The Moral Ecology of Markets: Assessing Claims about Markets, and Just Trading: On the Ethics and Economics of International Trade. He is a past president of the Society of Christian Ethics, the Catholic Theological Society of America, and the Association for Social Economics.

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Table of Contents


List of Contributors

1. What Does Catholic Social Thought Recommend for the Economy? The Economic Common Good as a Path to True Prosperity
Albino Barrera
2. What is "Sustainable Prosperity for All" in the Catholic Social Tradition
Andrew Yuengert
3. Catholic Social Thought, Civil Economy, and the Spirit of Capitalism
Stefano Zamagni
4. The Political and Economic Impact of CST since 1891: Christian Democracy and Christian Labour Unions in Europe
Vera Zamagni
5. Just Contracts and Catholic Social Teaching: A Perspective from Anglo-American Law
Vincent D. Rougeau
6. The Unjust Contract: A Moral Evaluation
Daniel K. Finn
7. From a Theological Frame to a Secular Frame: How Historical Context Shapes our Understanding of the Principles of Catholic Social Thought
Mary Hirschfeld
8. Wealth Creation, Social Virtues: Social Capital's Role in Creating and Sustaining Wealth
John A. Coleman
9. What Do We Know about the Economic Situations of Women and What Does it Mean for a Just Economy?
Simona Beretta
10. Truly Africa, and Wealthy! What Africa Can Learn from Catholic Social Teaching about Sustainable Economic Prosperity
Paulinus I. Odozor, C.S.Sp.
11. Capital, Spirit, and Common Wealth
Jon P. Gunnemann
12. An Ecofeminist Approach to the True Wealth Project
Maylin Biggadike
13. Moving from Research to Action: Some Lessons and Directions (From a Catholic Social Ministry Bureaucrat)
John Carr

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