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Political and Cultural Construction of the Catholic Social Doctrine

Political and Cultural Construction of the Catholic Social Doctrine

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 Political and Cultural Construction of the Catholic Social Doctrine
Source:
The Catholic Social Imagination
Author(s):
Joseph M. Palacios
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226645025.003.0004

This chapter addresses two related issues in analyzing Catholic social justice teaching and the cultural construction of the Catholic social imagination. First, it presents the historical context of the Church's social justice teaching within a general theory of the political cultural construction of the doctrine. The chapter highlights the dialectical nature of the development of the doctrine as a set of reactions to unjust social situations that are formulated as positive principles. From this inventory, it develops a typology of social doctrine to indicate the distinctive approaches involved in the various principles, a theoretical analysis which is grounded in an understanding of the Church's doctrine as a discourse that promotes an ethical perspective for its members. The chapter also provides a comprehensive sociological framework to analyze the situation faced by Catholic activists who seek to strategically implement their religion's teaching within their society.

Keywords:   Catholic Church, social justice teaching, social imagination, Catholic activists

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