Christian Social Principles


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In her penetrating exploration of Catholic Social Teaching, Sr. Mary Consilia O'Brien, O.P., Ph.D., offers the most clear-eyed description ever written on this foundational subject. She explores the Church's authentic teachings on the dignity of the human person as well as man's freedoms and obligations to society. She describes when individual liberties must transcend social control — and when they must not. Best of all, she explains the final purpose of society, to which all its activities must be oriented.

Skillfully crafted to appeal to both students and adults, each chapter features a probe of the content, leavened by practical examples, excerpts from the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, quotes from encyclicals, as well as discussion questions and additional study resources. In Christian Social Principles, you'll also learn:

  • The Church's teachings on communism, liberalism, and capitalism
  • How free will is the source of our obligations to society
  • Why Communism is a natural offspring of Liberalism
  • How freedom of thought and action is a false concept that can degenerate into license
  • Why neither the “liberty” of Liberalism nor the “equality” of Communism can serve as the reliable cornerstone of a social order
  • Why no one can be both a sincere Catholic and a true Socialist
  • Why norms of morality must be universal in scope across society
  • Why the work of government will be of little avail without religion to enlighten the mind
  • Why justice alone can never bring about a union of hearts and minds
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  • Pages:
  • Format(s): Paperback, eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-64413-616-4
  • Product Code: 6164
  • Availability: In Stock
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A good society helps you to be good. This is Catholic Sociology at its best.
Christian Social Principles by Sister Mary Consilia O’Brien is probably the best Catholic Sociology textbook on the market now. This is a truly inspiring, excellent book. Most sociology textbooks are secular and they emphasize gender, class and race. This Catholic Sociology emphasizes good government, good families and the Catholic Church, together with justice and charity, as the foundations of a good society. Catholic Sociology is about living the good life, and a good society helps you to be good. Sociology textbooks aim to understand society with the goal of using that knowledge to make society better. In order to know what a good society is, one must know the purpose of life. A life without a true purpose is a meaningless life; a lost life. According to Catholicism, the purpose of life is to know, love and serve God in this life and to be united forever with Him in the next. Catholic sociology states that Christianity and Christian education has been the single greatest force for improving society. All nations which have yielded to the sway of Christianity have become eminent for their culture, their sense of justice, and the glory of their high deeds. No social order can long endure or pursue its goal without religion and morality. Catholic Sociology sees three institutions as necessary for a good society: a good government that subscribes to Christian principles of morality; good families; and the Catholic Church which teaches everyone about God and about true morality. This sociology is based mainly on the writings of Thomas Aquinas and on various encyclicals written by popes on Catholic social principles. And there are many important insights spread throughout this book. Here is a short excerpt on happiness: Wealth, fame, power, friends, health, virtue, and so forth can be means of attaining God. They can never be the end; that is, they can never substitute for God. They bring partial happiness only insofar as they contribute to the acquisition of the final good. If they are broken loose of their connection to the final end of man, then wealth, health, friends, frame, power, honor and so forth cease to be good. More simply stated, unless wealth, health, friends, fame, power, honor, virtue and other things lead toward the final end and contribute to its acquisition, they are meaningless or worse than meaningless in human activity. They are positive hindrances. They are obstacles to a man’s march toward happiness. They are causes of sorrow, despondency, brutality, jealousy, hypocrisy, deceit, loss of purpose, loss of peace, loss of happiness, and loss of God. Finite things bring us happiness in proportion as they bring us closer to God. Man is by nature a social animal, and society is afflicted with many evils. Only religion and morality - justice and charity - can be effective in reducing those evils and making the world a better place. Christian Social Principles provide the answer to society’s problems, and this book will hopefully inspire the reader to implement those principles.
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