Pablo Martinez de Anguita
The past few decades have seen the beginnings of a convergence between religions and ecological movements. The environmental crisis has called the religions of the world to respond by finding their voice within the larger Earth community. At the same time, a certain religiosity has started to emerge in some areas of secular ecological thinking. Beyond mere religious utilitarianism, rooted in an understanding of the deepest connections between human beings, their worldviews, and nature itself, this book tries to show how religious believers can look at the world through the eyes of faith and find a broader paradigm to sustain sustainability, proposing a model for transposing this paradigm into practice, so as to develop long-term sustainable solutions that can be tested against reality.
Pablo Martínez de Anguita is professor of forestry and rural development at Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid.
David Boyle and Andrew Simms
Economics sometimes seems to be stacked against social, environmental and individual well-being. But it doesn’t have to be like this. A new approach to economics – deriving as much from Ruskin and Schumacher as from Keynes or Smith – has begun to emerge. Sceptical about money as a measure of success, this new economics turns our assumptions about wealth and poverty upside down. It shows us that real wealth can be measured by increased well-being and environmental sustainability rather than just having and consuming more things.
Much of modern economic theory is based on a rather unflattering view of human nature, one that is essentially selfish and materialistic. Not surprisingly, this incomplete version of human anthropology makes for some rather incomplete economic theory, argues Edward Hadas in Human Goods, Economic Evils. Hadas argues that human beings are not simply utility maximizers, but seek to "maximize" morality in their everyday economic lives. For Hadas, economic man is moral man, who always strives for the good according to his nature. While the weakness of human nature ensures that the good is never fully achieved, economic activity is nevertheless best understood as part of the great moral enterprise of humanity.
Human Goods, Economic Evils does not claim that the basic economic activities of laboring and consuming are the most important things in life, but they are literally vital, and as such deserve to be studied and understood through a more morally sympathetic view of human nature. With this in mind, Human Goods, Economic Evils provides both lay readers and policymakers the intellectual tools necessary to judge what is right and what is wrong about the modern economy, and returns the study of economics to its proper, more humanistic sphere.
Introduces the rich area of the social teaching of the Church.
‘The Common Good’, ‘option for the poor’ ‘subsidiarity’- concepts like these have become part of the currency of Catholic teaching, but what do they mean? What are their foundations in scripture and tradition which make them distinctively Catholic?
This book examines key aspects of human social relations such as the family, the state and civil society, the world of work and justice. It explains in clear language how a conscience informed by divine revelation brings out the true human vocation to love of God and neighbour. The author highlights the particular contribution of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
In an increasingly materialist, individualist and utilitarian world this booklet opens up a rich heritage of teaching and reflection.
Russell Sparkes argues that climate change is a real and urgent issue that the Church needs to address, but that this can only be done in a way consistent with the teaching of the magisterium. He criticizes two extreme positions - that of the "Deep Greens" who think that the environment is a more important issue than any other, including justice, and that of the "Neo-Conservatives" who are so committed to a free market that they deny the evidence of climate change altogether. Both ideological positions must be distinguished from that of the Church. Beginning with Pope John Paul II and continuing today, the magisterium has consistently reaffirmed the need for responsible stewardship of the natural world. Sparkes holds up Barbara Ward, a Catholic ecologist who was a friend of Padre Pio and Mother Teresa, as an examplar of devout Catholic environmentalism. The booklet as a whole is informative and balanced, and should stimulate the constructive engagement of Catholics with one of the most urgent and difficult questions of our time.
So what does the Catholic Church have to say that could assist the general effort to restore sanity to the economy? The Church's teaching on society has been described as one of its best-kept secrets. This body of ideas has been developed in response to the social problems of modern times, and is starting to come into its own.
In this booklet, Edward Hadas, Catholic author and financial journalist, looks at questions to do with morality and the markets, and offers some sane and stimulating answers.
- Is there such a thing as greed in the financial markets?
- Why are banks far less regulated than passenger jets, even though far more lives are destroyed when one fails?
- How does human effort and enterprise create wealth? And how is the banking system the foundation for this?
- What common-sense rules have the bankers been ignoring for too long?
Hadas concludes with 'A Moralist Manifesto', to suggest a way forward.
Rourke, Thomas R.
What's the difference between different forms of government? And what does the Catholic Church teach? The Church’s teaching authority has for some time now addressed the question of the better ordering of human societies, and which form of government best promotes human flourishing. Grounded in the Church’s social doctrine, this booklet intends to clarify the central and defining features of the two commonly found forms of government: democracy, and its opposite, tyranny.
Doug Bandow & David L. Schindler
The rapid spread of the liberal market order across the globe poses a host of new and complex questions for religious believers—indeed, for anyone concerned with the intersection of ethics and economics. Is the market economy, particularly as it affects the poor, fundamentally compatible with Christian moral and social teaching? Or is it in substantial tension with that tradition?
In Wealth, Poverty, and Human Destiny, editors Doug Bandow and David L. Schindler bring together some of today’s leading economists, theologians, and social critics to consider whether the triumph of capitalism is a cause for celebration or concern. Michael Novak, Richard John Neuhaus, Max Stackhouse, and other defenders of democratic capitalism marshal a number of arguments in an attempt to show that, among other things, capitalism is more Christian in its foundation and consequences than is conceded by its critics—that, as Stackhouse and Lawrence Stratton write, "the roots of the modern corporation lie in the religious institutions of the West," and that, as Novak contends, "globalization is the natural ecology" of Christianity. The critics of liberal economics argue, on the other hand, that it is historically and theologically shortsighted to consider the global capitalist order and the liberalism that sustains it as the only available option. Any system which has as its implicit logic that "stable and preserving relationships among people, places, and things do not matter and are of no worth," in the words of Wendell Berry, should be regarded with grave suspicion by religious believers and all men and women of goodwill.
Bandow and Schindler take up these arguments and many others in their responses, which carefully consider the claims of the essayists and thus pave the way for a renewed dialogue on the moral status of capitalism, a dialogue only now re-emerging from under the Cold War rubble. The contributors’ fresh, insightful examinations of the intersection between religion and economics should provoke a healthy debate about the intertwined issues of the market, globalization, human freedom, the family, technology, and democracy.
Helen J. Alford, O.P., and Michael J. Naughton
Helen Alford and Michael Naughton bridge the fault line between work and faith by engaging current management issues with Christian ethics. Recovering a rich social tradition found within Christianity, Alford and Naughton connect ideas such as the common good, virtue, and social principles, with concrete management issues such as job design, just wages, corporate ownership, marketing communication, and product development. In their hands, economic and social challenges become opportunities for managers to integrate their beliefs with their working environment and make decisions based on the tenets of Catholic social tradition.
HELEN J. ALFORD, O.P. is a professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas, Rome.
MICHAEL J. NAUGHTON is Director of the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought at the Center for Catholic Studies, St. Thomas University, St. Paul, Minnesota
A study of the modern co-operative movement. Mathews focuses on Antigonish and Mondragon as two major attempts to put the ideal of distributism into practice. These two movements illustrate his central thesis: distributism only works when people have jobs (that is, work) of their own. In the early 20th century, Antigonish was a movement of consumer co-operatives in Nova Scotia which flourished for a time, but ultimately failed. Although Mathews finds much to praise in their work (and plenty of consumer co-ops flourish today), he uses Antigonish to illustrate how the basic agency dilemma will weaken any co-operative that operates only on the consumer level. You may have a food co-op, but if you hire outside managers to run it, there's nothing particularly co-operative about their incentives. They may as well be working at the mall. In contrast, Mondragon is a worker co-operative. This co-operative (really a co-operative of co-operatives) is altogether the seventh largest corporation in Spain. Big business? Not exactly. Mathews examines the intricate mechanisms by which a worker in a Mondragon factory has a real voice in how his shop is run, a real stake in the success of the whole enterprise, and a real safety net for keeping at work, not getting welfare payments.
Books by Rodger Charles SJ