introduction to catholic social teaching Anna FloerkeScheid, Ph.D. Duquesne University Part 1 Unit 1 Click here for instructions.
Instructions • Navigation through the course will occur by clicking on the following action buttons located in the lower right corner of each screen: The HOME button will be placed in the center of each slide and will bring you to the Table of Contents for further navigation. The NEXT and BACK buttons will move you through the course content. The EXIT button will be placed at the end of each Unit and will return you to the course menu.
Instructions • This course is meant to be self-paced, though there will be opportunities to interact with your local and global JPIC groups. • Course content and activities should be completed in the order that they are presented to maximize student success. • The Table of Contents will be your starting point for each Unit
Activity Icons • Each type of course activity has a unique icon located in the upper right corner of the screen. • In this course you will: Online journal Local discussion Read online Create doc Reflect Watch video Global discussion Quiz/test
Unit 1 Table of Contents This unit is divided into several components. Start with the About This Unit OR click on the link below to navigate to the component where you left off. Revisit as needed. • Instructions • About This Unit • Aims of the Unit • What You Will Learn • 1.1 Preparatory Questions • 1.2 Micro-lecture: “Introducing Catholic School Thought” • 1.3 Reading by Thomas Massaro • 1.4 Notes and Critical Concepts • Unit Summary
What is this unit about? This unit will introduce you to the history and basic content of the social teachings of the Catholic Church.
Aims of the Unit By the time you are finished with this unit, you should be: • Broadly familiar with the term “Catholic social teaching” and its basic content • Able to articulate the distinctions and relationship between Catholic social teaching (CST) and Catholic social thought
What You Will Learn • The origins and foundational concepts of CST • The difference and relationship between Catholic social teaching and Catholic social thought • The names and general subjects of the major documents of CST
Journal Your course journal is a place for you to record your responses to the preparatory questions and reflection questions posed throughout the course, as well as any notes you take on readings or in group discussions. I encourage you to use the material that you write in the course journals as starting points for the online discussions. Your course journal may be either hand written, or typed into a computer.
Journal Before beginning Part I, Unit 1, respond to the following questions in your course journal. 1) Consider the following terms/concepts. When you think of these terms/concepts, what comes to mind? How do you conceive of these things: • Justice • Charity • “The signs of the times” • Equality and Inequality
Journal 2) What stories – whether Biblical narratives, family histories, or cultural tales and proverbs, etc. – inspire you to serve others or work for the good of your community?
Micro-Lecture • Video File (YouTube link) • A transcript of the audio file.
Reading Click here to complete the reading. Read Thomas Massaro, “Inheriting the Tradition of Catholic Social Teaching” in Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action, (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008): 33-53.
What is Catholic Social Teaching (CST)? • CST refers to “papal encyclicals and apostolic letters; statements of Vatican offices and commissions and worldwide church councils and synods; and pastoral letters from individual bishops, regional groupings of bishops, or entire Episcopal conferences” (Massaro 39). • CST marks the official stance of the Roman Catholic Church on a wide variety of issues affecting both our global and local communities.
CST and Catholic Social Thought: A Comparison • How is CST related to and distinct from Catholic social thought? • Catholic social thought refers to a broader “related authority readily observable in upstanding Catholics who interpret and put into practice the words of the magisterium” (Massaro 39). • In other words, Catholic social thought encompasses the works of Catholic scholars and practitioners who reflect upon CST, apply it, expand it, and contribute to shaping it.
The Documentary Heritage of CST • Table 3.1 lists 12 papal encyclicals, the dates they were released, the social context and problems they addressed, and their unique contributions to CST. • These encyclicals are considered social because they deal with the challenges of political and economic life in the contemporary world of their times. • In addition to papal encyclicals, CST includes pastoral letters written by Bishops’ conferences. These statements are works of application. They apply the principles of CST, which come from the papal encyclicals to the Bishops’ local contexts around the world.
The Origins of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) • CST was born in 1891, when Pope Leo XIII released the encyclical Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of Labor) • The document was released in the midst of a historical transition from feudalism to capitalismand addressed a host of social injustices related to that transition, including: • Low wages • Lack of regulations on working conditions, hours, what we would today call sexual harassment, etc. • Usury
The Origins of CST Over and against these injustices, RerumNovarumsought to establish fair working conditions for laborers. Specifically, it claimed that: • Human beings are not instruments to be used to make money. This theme continues throughout CST. People are never only the means to an end. • Work should not place undue burdens on family life. • There should be protections for children in the workplace. • There should be protections for women in the workplace.
The Origins of CST Since RerumNovarum, many more social encyclicals and documents of CST have been promulgated. You will be reading portions of several of these in this class. Each CST document was written to address particular challenges happening on the world stage or in a local context. When reading them, it is helpful to keep in mind the following questions. Consider jotting down your responses in your course journal (optional): • What social conditions is the author responding to? • In what way does this document seem to build on the previous documents? • How is this document trying to read the signs of the times? That is, how is it considering secular, socio-economic, and political affairs in the light of the gospel and Christian theology?
Unit Summary In this first unit, you’ve been introduced to the relationship between Catholic social teaching and Catholic social thought. You’ve learned about the historical development of Catholic social teaching and should have a good idea of what kinds of social issues CST seeks to address.
You have completed Unit 1 Please return to the Table of Contents using the HOME button to review any material or EXIT to the course menu.