Catholic Social Teaching
Welcome to your course in Catholic Social Teaching, in which we will aim to explore the principles of the Church’s thought on social matters. Our primary goal is to establish a solid understanding of these principles in order that we may apply them, later, to the full range of secular commitments.
To lead us through this course, we are privileged to have with us Russell Hittinger, Warren Professor of Catholic Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Tulsa.
This course will investigate the roots of the Church’s social teaching, as well as how it has developed in modern history through the encyclical tradition.
The major doctrinal texts from the Church’s Magisterium that we will be reading for this course include the following:
- Pope Leo XIII, Inscrutabili dei Consortio, 1878
- Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, 1891
- Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes: The Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 1965
- Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 1981
- Pope John Paul II, Laborem Exercens, 1981
- Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 1991
- Russell Hittinger, “The Three Necessary Societies,” First Things (June 2017)
Optional resources, for those interested in more focused study:
- Russell Hittinger, “Introduction to Modern Catholicism,” from The Teachings of Modern Roman Catholicism on Law, Politics, and Human Nature
- John Locke, “Property,” II.5 from Two Treatises on Government
- Karl Marx, “Estranged Labor,” from Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (The Paris Manuscripts)
In order to accommodate your calendar, lessons are made available earlier than needed.
Here is a list of the lessons covered at each discussion:
Discussion 1: Lesson 1 and 2
Discussion 2: Lessons 3 and 4
Discussion 3: Lessons 5-7