To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This chapter explores how Pius XI’s social encyclical Quadragesimo anno – “On the Reconstruction of the Social Order”– not only reiterated Leo XIII’s condemnation of socialism and his critique of aspects of capitalism, but also outlined a program for Catholics to follow in order to address the social and economic upheavals of the time in a lasting and far-reaching manner. It also analyzes the two primary contributions of Quadragesimo anno to Catholic social doctrine. The first concerns Pius XI’s articulation of two principles of Catholic social teaching: subsidiarity and social justice. The second contribution is the encyclical’s articulation of a very substantial prescription for fundamental social change. While the developments at the level of principle introduced by Quadragesimo anno have proved lasting and become a set fixture of Catholic social doctrine, we observe how the particular proposals associated by Pius XI with these principles– most notably, the development of vocational groups and the establishment of a type of corporatist social order– had, by the time of Saint John XXIII, been considerably relativized by the magisterium.
Modern Catholic Social Teaching (CST) developed in an historical context that posed dramatic challenges to the institutional Church and lay faithful. The French Revolution (1789–1799), the Napoleonic era (1799–1815), and industrial revolution, and waves of succeeding uprisings in 1820, 1830, 1848, and 1870 represented radical challenges to existing political structures, such that Old Regime conceptions of the State and Church alliance of Throne and Altar were no longer tenable. The emergence of the modern secular state in traditionally Catholic lands often included the suppression of religious orders, charitable and educational institutions, and control over clergy and hierarchy. The Church struggled in this revolutionary age of ideology – torn between laissez-faire liberalism and revolutionary socialism. The Catholic movement, primarily of laity, grew in response to these challenges, under the rubrics of the “Religious Question” of freedom of religion, and Church–State relations generally, and of the “Social Question” or how to address the growing number of rootless and impoverished industrial workers in an increasingly secularized political and cultural environment. The revival of neoscholastic philosophy of society became the paradigm through which Pius IX and especially Leo XIII were able to engage modernity on evangelical and natural law foundations.
The common good (bonum commune) has, since antiquity, referred to the aim of social and political association, and was particularly prominent in medieval Christian political theology. Since St. John XXIII’s 1961 encyclical letter, Mater et magistra, ecclesiastical statements about social teaching have employed a formulation of the common good, usually in the version that appeared in the Second Vatican Council’s 1965 Pastoral Constitution for the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes, as “the sum of those conditions of social life that allow social groups and their individual members relatively thorough and ready access to their own fulfillment.” This chapter discusses the origins and development of this formulation as well as the ways that it has been used in subsequent Catholic Social Teaching. While it has sometimes been interpreted as an “instrumental” account of the common good, the sources and uses of the notion suggest that it is the particularly modern political component of a fuller notion of the common good continuous with the tradition. In particular, the recent formulation is concerned to limit the power of the modern state and protect the dignity of the human person in the challenging conditions of political modernity.
This chapter is an analytical summary of Rerum novarum. Its goal is to illuminate the purpose of the encyclical and the main lines of Pope Leo’s reasoning, his key premises and central ethical conclusions, and in this way, to articulate as clearly as possible the teaching that comprises Rerum novarum. Rerum’s influence on Catholic teaching and practice is most manifest in the Church’s “social teaching,” which in various ways identifies the encyclical as its founding statement. This identification is made in the names and citations of some of the most important papal contributions to Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and is pervasive throughout the corpus of CST. And it is revealed in the ways in which the accepted principles of CST are present or anticipated in Rerum novarum. Although the chapter does not undertake the large and formidable task of characterizing CST, it does indicate how these principles figure in Pope Leo’s analysis. It also underlines the extent to which these principles are not the main point of Rerum novarum, but stand in the service of the moral and religious reform urged by Pope Leo.
Aquinas did not speak of “social” teaching, but did synthesize the teaching of the prophets, the Lord, the Fathers, and sound philosophy concerning social matters and responsibilities. He would have regarded the principles of CST as part of the Church’s doctrine of faith and morality (de fide et moribus), insofar as morality – the living out of that faith which consists in true beliefs about the Creator – embodies the principles, precepts, and virtue(s) of justice. For among the cardinal virtues, justice is the one bearing on those of our choices that relate to or impact on other persons, especially persons with whom in one way or another we are associated. And Aquinas’s treatment of justice, mainly but not only in his Summa Theologiae, is very extensive and detailed. This chapter offers (1) an overview of his significance for CST, (2) a review of the appeals to his writings in Rerum novarum and some of its antecedents and successors, and (3) his contribution to some leading features of CST since then, including dignity and equality; private property and associations; “subsidiarity” and the service conception of authority and law; and “solidarity” (local and global).
This chapter offers a broad overview of the development of Catholic social thought on socialism and capitalism, together with novel interpretations of this tradition. Through a close engagement with magisterial documents, this chapter first provides an account of socialism as the founding heresy of the formal tradition of the social doctrine of the Church, aiming to distill the essence of the Church’s condemnation. It goes on to argue that capitalism is not a similar (but opposite) heresy since capitalism is not in essence an error about human nature and man's relation to created goods. The principles of right order are discussed in relation to capitalism, with the question of just wages receiving a prominent treatment. Finally, drawing on the "twin rocks" passage in Quadragesimo anno, the chapter provides a schema for thinking about the axis of philosophical mistakes related to socialism and capitalism. A brief treatment of private property in the final section is used to illustrate the common but faulty assimilation of individualism and collectivism to capitalism and socialism respectively. For the sake of tractability, this chapter focuses primarily on the development of the social magisterium in the Leonine era.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.