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Posted September 18, 2005

Book: Modern Catholic Social Teaching: Commentaries and Interpretations
Editor: Kenneth Himes, O.F.M.
Georgetown University Press, Washington, DC, pp. 563

An Excerpt from the Introduction:

This volume is intended as a reference work for anyone interested in studying the key documents of Catholic social teaching. It is presumed that readers will not go through this book cover to cover but will dip into the material at various points to gain insight about some aspect of the Church’s social teaching. That presumption has shaped the way the editors planned the present volume.

An Excerpt from the Book:

The just war tradition itself was never formally declared Catholic doctrine but achieved the force of history by the accrual of writing and teaching over time. In its Christian context, the just war tradition first found articulation in the writings of St. Ambrose and St. Augustine in the fourth and fifth centuries and was later refined by St. Thomas Aquinas, Francisco de Vitoria, and Francisco de Suarez. It arose out of the attempt to answer the questions of whether war itself could be conducted as a legitimate means for pursuing peace and, if so, under what moral limitations. The various principles of the just war tradition are statements of the limits that must be placed on war-fighting if the latter is ever to have peace as its true end. The principles are divided into those that must be met in order to engage in war in the first place (jus ad bellum) and those that must be met in the conduct of war itself (just in bello).

Table of Contents:

Part I Foundations

1. The bible and Catholic social teaching: will this engagement lead to marriage? John R. Donahue, S.J.

2. Natural law in Catholic social teachings Stephen J. Pope

3. The ecclesiological foundations of modern Catholic social teaching Richard R. Gaillardetz

4. Early modern Roman Catholic social thought, 1740-1890

Part II Commentaries

5. Rerum novarum Thomas A. Shannon

6. Quadragesimo anno Christine Firer Hinze

7. The Christmas messages of Pius XII John P. Langan, S.J.

8. Mater et magistra Marvin L. Mich

9. Pacem in terris Drew Christiansen, S.J.

10. Dignitatis humanae Leslie Griffin

11. Gaudium et spes David Hollenbach, S.J.

12. Populorum progressio Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J.

13. Octogesima adveniens Christine E. Gudorf

14. Justitia in mundo Kenneth R. Himes, O.F.M.

15. Familaris consortio Lisa Sowle Cahill

16. Laborem exercens Patricia A. Lamoureux

17. Sollicitudo rei socialis Charles E. Curran, Kenneth Himes

18. Centesimus annus Daniel Finn