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Curso "CE602, CRN 136 Church's Social Teaching"

Prof. Martín CARBAJO NÚÑEZ >>
1 semestre (2 ects)
CE602, CRN 136 Church's Social Teaching* (2019/20 )

CE 602, CRN 136 – The Church’s Social Teaching

Fall Semester 2020
Prof: Martín Carbajo Núñez, OFM
Fall Semester 2016 – Franciscan School of Theology
Friday  8:00 - 11:00 pm
Office: Mission San Luis Rey, Faculty Wing
Office Hours: By Appointment

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to explore Catholic social teaching (CST) and to develop skills for critically applying this teaching to present ethical dilemmas and to topics related to social justice. In other words, we will try “to help purify reason and to contribute, here and now, to the acknowledgment and attainment of what is just” (DCE 28).

- Main practical objectives

· understand the profound relationship that exists between social life and being true to him/herself as a person
· To stimulate the moral imagination
· To develop the ability for critical analysis on the moral values of life in society (reflection)
· To acquire the capacity of publicly sustaining a reasonable position while being open to dialogue and pluralism (argument)
· To strengthen the sense of moral responsibility (life)

Student Learning Outcomes

- Students will be expected:

· to become familiar with the CST Foundational documents, basic truths and anthropology.
· to understand the CST philosophical and scriptural roots.
· to be aware of the historical context that influenced the CST teachings and topics.
· to identify the major values, principles, and themes which recur in the CST documents and be able to apply them in contemporary situations
· to heighten student awareness of social challenges to justice and peace (such as poverty, economic justice, human rights, violence and peace, environmental justice) and hopefully offer constructive responses in the light of CST.
· to explore the ways in which the CST strike a balance between 1) the goods of individual dignity and liberty; and 2) concern for the community and the common good.

Required Texts

1. Himes, Kenneth R., ed., Modern Catholic Social Teaching. Commentaries & interpretations, Georgetown Univ. Press, Washington DC 2005 (MCST).
2. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (CSDC)
3. Major Papal, Vatican and USCB documents[1]


- Before the class    
· The week before, a student will be assigned as leader to start the discussion for each document/commentary with a five-minute presentation.
· Students will be required to read both primary sources and secondary texts, which will be the focus of discussions in the class.
· Students will come to class having read all the material assigned and having submitted a
half a page written reflection on one of the required readings. Those materials indicated as “other possible readings” are recommended but not required.
- Class Format:
· Every lesson will have two different sections: the first will focus on one CST foundational document; the second will develop a social theme with the magisterial documents cited as part of the discussion.
· Consistently thoughtful and active participation in class is essential to the success of this course.  Attendance is only a precondition for participation, not the measure of it.
· Students are expected to provide well-reasoned contributions to class discussions and be prepared to raise questions in response to the readings. 
- Final exam:
· There will be a final written exam, that could be preceded by a mid-term.
- Final paper
·  Each studentis expected to submit a paper of at least 12-page, double-spaced paper (12-point font) in length, in which he/she study a CST issue and critically apply this teaching to a contemporary situation.
· For the most part, I will keep your papers on file and will not return them.

- Weekly Assignments and written reflection

· You should not attempt to cover everything, but simply make one or two points that clarify some aspect of the reading and stimulate thought.
· You can follow these steps outlined by Richard Gula:
o  A) Identify the subject of the reading (just one brief sentence)
o  B) Critical Reflection:
2)  How does this article/unit affirm your present understanding of the topic.  In this article I relearned that …
3)  What new insight(s) did you gain from this article/unit?  I was surprised to learn that …
4)  What questions does this article raise for you?  I need to think more about …
o  C) Appropriation:
5) Share an anecdote from your life that illustrates your experience with the insights of this article/unit.    I remember when …
6)  What would it be like to incorporate the insights from this unit to how I think and live?   If I act upon these insights …
- Students who have a disability requiring accommodation should contact the FST Title IX Coordinator (Garrett Galvin) or Assistant (Donna Foley).

Components of the Class (Evaluation procedure)

            Weekly Assignments  & Participation                       30%
            Final exam                                                                 35%    
            Final Paper                                                                 35%

Grading Scale

A         100-95%                                            
A-        94-91%                                                          
B+       90-88%                                              
B         87-80%                                                          

Course Outline & Schedule

September 9  - Introduction

- Course overview: Syllabus, course description and requirements
- Clarification of concepts: Morality and ethics; Specificity of the CST within Catholic theology
- Some possible readings:
· CSDC n. 60-86.
· Vatican II[2]: GS 10, 22, 45; OT 16; DV 6-10, 17, 24-26.
· Other possible readings:
Veritatis Splendor[3] (VS): 2, 8, 12, 15, 25-30, 83, 85, 109-117.
Evangelium vitae[4] (EV): 53-57, 60-62, 65-66.
o  Catechism[5] (CCC): 50-114, 131-133, 1691-1748, 2052-2063, 2083-2087, 2090-2093. The necessity of the Moral Law: 1959, 2070, 2242.
- Self-assessment:
·  Similarities and differences between a study on morality done by sociologists and one done by theologians
· The Bible, the Tradition and the Magisterium are "sources" of moral theology. Why? Why even reason is a "source" (secondary)?
·  Distinguish between a moral value and other types of value?
· Why is the moral value the most important and the one which defines people more deeply?

September 16 : The social nature of human beings

- 1) Read: Encyclical Rerum Novarum (On the condition of labor)
· Shannon, Thomas A., Rerum novarum, (MCST 127 – 150).
- 2) The truth about man: theological anthropology that underlies the CST.
· Other anthropological theories: how CST differs from social, political, and economic ideologies.
- Read:
· CSDC n. 105-151.
· Other possible readings:
o  Pope, Stephen J. Natural law in CST (MCST 41-71)
o  The social nature of the human person (CCC, 1878-1889, 1929)
o  Trinitarian communio & social life (CCC 267, 738, 1693).

September 23: Background and Foundations of Modern CST

- 1) Read: Encyclical Quadragesimo anno (After forty years)
· Hinze, Christine F., Quadragesimo anno (MCST 151-174).
- 2) CST Foundations
· Biblical Roots and historical development
· Sources, Methodology, Principles & Application
· Key documents
- Read:
· CSDC n. 87-104.
· Other possible readings:
o  Donahue, John R., The Bible and CST (MCST 9-40).

September 30

- 1) Read: Encyclical Mater et Magistra, (Mother and Teacher)
· Mich, Marvin L., Mater et Magistra (MCST  191-216).
- 2) CST guiding principles: Human dignity and the Common good
- Read:
· CSDC n. 160-170.
· Other possible readings:
o  Schuck, Michael J, Early Modern Roman CST 1740-1890 (MCST 99-126)
o  USCCB, Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics.

October 7

- 1) Read: Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes (The Church in the Modern World)
· Hollenbach, David, Gaudium et Spes (MCST  266 – 291).
- 2) CST guiding principles: subsidiarity and solidarity (fraternity)
· Preferential option for the poor & Universal destination of goods
· CST fundamental social values
· CST most important documents.
- Read:
· CSDC n. 171-208
· U.S. Catholic Bishops, Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions, 1998.

October 14

- 1) Read: Encyclical Pacem in terris, (Peace on Earth)
· Christiansen, Drew, Pacem in terris (MCST 217-243).
2) Peace: How to be builders of peace;  war, violence, death penalty: a moral assessment
- Read:
· CSDC n. 488-520.
· USCCB, A culture of Life and the Penalty of Death.
· Other possible readings:
o  USCCB, The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and our Response
o  Curran, Charles E., The reception of Catholic approaches to Peace and War in the USA (MCST 493-521)
o  USCCB, A Good Friday Appeal to End the Death Penalty
o  USCCB, Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice.

October 21 (Reading week)

October 28

- 1) Apostolic letter Octogesima adveniens, (A call to action)
· Gudorf, Christine E., Octogesima adveniens (MCST 315-332)
- 2) Human rights as an ethical peace project
- Read:
· CSDC n. 152-159
· Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, The Church and Human rights.
· Other possible readings:
o  Statement of the Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World, 1971.

November 4

- 1) Encyclical Populorum progressio (On the development of Peoples)
· Deck, Allan F. Populorum progressio (MCST  292-314).
- 2) Social Justice
- Read:
· Different types of justice (CCC, 2411-2412, 1807): Distributive (CCC, 2236-2411), Legal, Commutative, Social (CCC, 1928-42)
· Himes Kenneth R., Justitia in Mundo (MCST  333-362).
· Other possible readings:
o  Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail (Role of Churches on social justice issues).

November 11

- 1) Read: Encyclical Laborem exercens (On human work)
· Lamoureux, Patricia A., Laborem exercens (MCST 389 – 414).
- 2) Dignity of work and workers
- Read:
· CSDC n. 255-322.
· USCCB, Respecting the Just Rights of Workers.

November 18

  • 1) Read: Encyclical  Centesimus annus, (The hundredth year)
· Finn, Daniel (MCST  436-466).
  • 2) Private property
- Read
· Pontifical council for Justice and Peace, The Universal Purpose of created things, (22011) (original 1979)
· USCCB: “Economic Justice for All”, 1986, Intro & Chapter 2
· Other possible readings:
o  USCCB, Strangers No Longer: Together on a Journey of Hope, 2003.

November 25 (Thanksgiving Holiday)

December 2
- 1) Read: Encyclical Sollicitudo rei socialis, (On social concern)
· Curran, Charles E. – Himes, Kenneth R., Sollicitudo rei socialis (MCST 415-435).
- 2) Faith & Politics: The role of religion in the public realm
- Read:
· CSDC n. 377-450
· USCCB, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, 2015.
· Other possible readings:
Gaudium et Spes, §§77-93; Evangelii Gaudium, §§50-75, 176-258.
o  Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Doctrinal Note on some question regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life[6].
o  Carbajo Núñez M., «The contribution by religions to peaceful coexistence in society», in Studia Moralia 53/1 (2015) 83-101.

December 9:

  • 1) Read: Encyclical Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth).
- 2) Economic justice & the Preferential Option for the Poor
- Read:
· CSDC n. 323-376.
· Gaudium et Spes, §§ 63-76; CCC, §§2401-2463.
· Curran, Charles E., The reception of Catholic Social and Economic Teaching in the USA (MCST 469-521).
· Other possible readings:
o  Pontifical council for Justice and Peace, Social and ethical aspects of economics[7], 22011.

December 16

  • 1) Francesco, Encyclical Laudato Si' (On care for our common home).
- 2) The ecological crisis: Environmental injustice
- Read:
· CSDC n. 451-487
· Carbajo Núñez, Martin,  «Global ethical challenges in the light of
the Encyclical Laudato Si' and the Jubilee of Mercy», in Antonianum 91/2 (2016) 333-359.
· Other possible readings:
o  USCCB, Renewing the Earth[8]
o  Delio – K.D. Warner – P. Wood, Care for Creation. A Franciscan spirituality of the earth, Franciscan Media, Cincinati 2007

  “A” Range “B” Range “C” Range
Thesis and
The thesis and purpose of the project are clearly expressed. The thesis and purpose are somewhat clear, with the boundaries and scope a bit vague. The thesis is unclear and the purpose of the project is ill-defined.
Support ·         The development of the thesis is well thought-out, includes all relevant evidence, and respects the inner logic of the material.
·         Use of quoted material does not substitute for student’s own development of the thesis.
·         The paper is convincing, leaving no important aspect of the topic unaddressed.
·         Supporting details are adequate though some important material is missing.
·         Resources are too limited.
·         Paper shows understanding of relevant issues but lacks depth.
·         Uses too many direct quotes to substitute for developing own argument.
·         Some of the key connections between ideas and concepts are missing or stand in isolation from others to which they are logically connected.
·         Supporting material is disorganized and inadequate.
·         Analysis is superficial, shows signs of struggling to understand the relevant issues.
·         Lacks connections between related ideas, concepts, and themes.
·         Uses too many quotations so that own development gets lost, or uses no quotations to make own development the sole authority.
Organization ·         Introduction draws the reader in, and the conclusion leaves the reader with a sense of resolution.
·         Material is presented in an orderly fashion.
·         Paragraphs are well-focused and coherent.
·         Transitions are thoughtful and show how ideas are connected with major sections and subdivisions clearly marked.
·         Major points are clear with the subordinate points clearly distinguished from the key, controlling ones.
·         Introduction does not create a strong sense of anticipation and the conclusion does not tie the paper together into a coherent whole.
·         Ideas generally ordered, though key connections between ideas are missing.
·         Transitions leave connections between ideas fuzzy.
·         Opening paragraph(s) do(es) not give clear direction of project and conclusion does not bring together key themes.
·         There is no clear set-up of the project and the conclusion does not wrap things up.
·         Logical ordering of material is vague with major points undeveloped.
·         Transitions are absent or weak.
·         Introduction does not capture the scope of the project and conclusion lacks focus.
Style ·         Uses English effectively to communicate thesis.
·         Paragraphs are well-focused and coherent.
·         Uses technical terms accurately.
·         Few errors of grammar and punctuation guide the reader through the text.
·         Correctly uses headings and subheads.
·         Use of English is generally effective.
·         Grammatical and punctuation errors distract from the flow of the presentation.
·         Use of technical terms is confusing.
·         Headings and subheads do not effectively present the relation of the material.
·         English is poorly used.
·         Too many grammatical and punctuation errors.
·         The material is not properly subdivided with headings and subheadings.
·         Quotations and summaries break the flow of the piece and do not seem to fit.
·         Errors in grammar distract and interfere with meaning.
Documentation ·         All sources, footnotes and bibliographic form are clearly and consistently cited.
·         Citations are generally good.
·         Citations are too limited for the scope of the project.
·         Lacks appropriate citations.
·         Documentation form is inadequate.


Benestad, J.Brian, Church, State, and Society. An Introduction to Catholic Social Doctrine, Catholic University of America Press, Washington, D.C.  2011.
Brigham, Erin M. See, Judge, Act: Catholic Social Teaching and Service Learning, Anselm Academic, Winona, MN, 2013.
O’Brien, David J. - Shannon, Thomas A., Catholic Social Thought. The Documentary Heritage, Orbis Books, Maryknoll N.Y.  2010.
Clark, Meghan J., The Vision of Catholic Social Thought: The Virtue of Solidarity and the Praxis of Human Rights, Fortress Press, Minneapolis 2014.
Himes, Kenneth R., Responses to 101 Questions on Catholic Social Teaching, Paulist Press, New York 22013.
Massaro, Thomas , S.J. Living Justice, Catholic Social Teaching in Action. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham 32016.
Wiilliams, Thomas D. The World as it Could Be, Catholic Social Thought for a New Generation, Crossroads, New York 2011.

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