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The Moral Dynamics of Economic Life: An Extension and Critique of <i>Caritas in Veritate</i>


The Moral Dynamics of Economic Life: An Extension and Critique of Caritas in Veritate


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Caritas in veritate (Charity in Truth) is the ''social'' encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI, one of many papal encyclicals over the last 120 years that address economic life. This volume, based on discussions at a symposium co-sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, analyzes the situation of the Church and the theological basis for Benedict's thinking about the person, community, and the globalized economy.

The Moral Dynamics of Economic Life engages Benedict's analysis of ''relation,'' the characteristics of contemporary social and economic relationships and the implications of a relational, Trinitarian God for daily human life. Crucial here is the Pope's notion of ''reciprocity,'' an economic relationship characterized by help freely given, but which forms an expectation that the recipient will ''reciprocate,'' either to the donor or, often, to someone else. This ''logic of gift,'' Benedict argues, should influence daily economic life, especially within what he calls ''hybrid'' firms, which make a profit and invest a share of that profit in service to needs outside the firm. Similarly, development - whether of an individual or of a nation - must be integral, neither simply economic nor personal nor psychological nor spiritual, but a comprehensive development that engages all dimensions of a flourishing human life.

The essays, written by social scientists, theologians, policy analysts and others, engage, extend, and critique Benedict's views on these issues, as well as his call for deeper dialogue and a morally based transformation of social and economic structures.

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Oxford University Press



Publication Date



Oxford University Press


New York, NY


Arts and Humanities | Catholic Studies | Economics | Religion | Social and Behavioral Sciences



Chapter 1: The Situation
Caritas in veritate in Broader Context, by J. Bryan Hehir; Who are the Americans?, by Amelia J. Uelmen; Americans and Government Today, by Rebecca M. Blank; Our Current Economic Situation, by Matthew J. Slaughter; Global Economic Forces, by Albino Barrera.

Chapter 2: The Theological Grounding of Caritas in veritate
Situating Pope Benedict's Theology, by Bishop William F. Murphy; Developments in Pope Benedict's Thinking, by John A. Coleman; A Theology of Gratuitousness, by Paulinus I. Odozor; Benedict's View of the Person, by Kenneth R. Himes; Challenges to Benedict's Vision: Sin, by Michael Novak; Theological Foundations of the Market, by Albino Barrera; The Promise and Risk of Charity, by David Hollenbach; Listening to the Experience of the Poor, by Johan Verstraeten.

Chapter 3: Markets and Government
The Vitality of Markets, by Michael Novak; The Benefits of the Market, by Albino Barrera; Government and Juridical Framework, by J. Bryan Hehir; Market Failure & the Role of Government, by Rebecca M. Blank; Institutions and Individual Morality, by Rebecca M. Blank; Globalization and Global Governance, by J. Bryan Hehir; From Government to Governance, by John A. Coleman.

Chapter 4: Re-conceiving''Relation''
Theological Foundations of Human Relation, by Miguel H. Diaz; Resources for Receptivity to a ''Transcendent Vocation,'' by Amelia J. Uelmen; Culture as the Locus for Economic Relation, by Mary L. Hirschfeld.

Chapter 5: Reciprocity in Economic Life
Reciprocity and Fraternity, by Stefano Zamagni; Reciprocity, Trust, and Social Capital, by Daniel K. Finn; The Logic of Gift and the World of Business, by Michael J. Naughton.

Chapter 6: Business Leadership
Ethics and Caritas in veritate, by Luk Bouckaert; The Business Enterprise, by Michael J. Naughton.

Chapter 7: Development
How Much of True Development can be Measured?, by Mary Jo Bane; Expanding the Economic Paradigm of Development, by Mary L. Hirschfeld; International Aid: Charity is Insufficient, by Katherine Marshall; Development and Institutional Failures, by Stefano Zamagni.

Chapter 8: Polarization
The Problem of Public Polarization, by John L. Allen; Resources for Reducing Polarization in Government, by Mary Jo Bane; Hope in Polarization, by Amelia J. Uelmen.

Chapter 9: Language and the Orientation to Dialogue
The Need for Accessible Language, by John A. Coleman; The Ambiguities of Accessible Language, by Mary L. Hirschfeld; Tensions between Proclamation and Dialogue, by Luk Bouckaert; Dialogue in Light of the Signs of the Times, by Johan Verstraeten.

Chapter 10: Implications New Institutions and Social Processes, by Mary Jo Bane; A Better Legal Definition of What is Reasonable, by Amelia J. Uelmen; Participation as Key for a Just Economy, by Johan Verstraeten; Re-Conceiving Welfare Policies, by Stefano Zamagni; Shifting Attention Within the Church, by Mary Jo Bane; Developing Resources for Business and Business Schools, by Michael Naughton; Improving Business Education, by Matthew J. Slaughter.

Chapter 11: Conclusion: Caritas in veritate in the Tradition of Catholic Social Thought, by Cardinal Peter Turkson.

The Moral Dynamics of Economic Life: An Extension and Critique of <i>Caritas in Veritate</i>