Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Catholic Social Teaching

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Moral Theology

DESCRIPTION The Catholic Church has a developed a large but little known body of teaching on social, economic, political, and cultural matters. The opportunities and crises we face in the social order, nationally and internationally, challenge Catholics as parents, citizens, clergy and religious, teachers, workers, business and professional people, politicians, and so on. We look around for explanations and guidelines which give us a Christian perspective on contemporary local and foreign social events and issues. What can we say, as Christians, about peace, economic justice, development, human rights, the dignity of persons and the sacredness of human life, work and trade unions, and so on?

Study-unit Outline

1. Introduction: A Faith that Demands Justice
2. History and overview of documents related to CST
3. The Human Person and Human Dignity
4. Institutions of Social Organization: Family, Private Property, State
5. The Call to Communion and Relationship
6. Justice in a Free Society: What economic system to follow?
7. Economic Justice for All
8. Preferential option for the poor
9. Justice and the environment
10. Immigration
11. On war and peace
12. Promoting Social Justice in the International Arena
13. Summary and Conclusion

Reading List

For a comprehensive list of Papal and Episcopal Documents relating to Catholic Social Justice Teaching, see
- PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE, The Social Agenda: A Collection of Magisterial Texts, Robert A Sirico – Maciej Zieba (eds), Città Del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. (as pdf)
- PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Città del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2004.
- COLEMAN John, One Hundred Years of Catholic Social Thought: Celebration and Challenge, New York 1991. (BQT3416.O5)
- O’BRIEN David J – SHANNON Thomas A, Catholic Social Teaching: The Documentary Heritage, New York 1992.
- DWYER Judith A (ed.), The New Dictionary of Catholic Social Thought, Minnesota: 1994 Ref. PBZ.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Raymond Zammit

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.