Course Memo

The course is designed to give students a good understanding of contemporary Christians social thought, including both the major documents of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and the work of Christian ethicists who address social issues using the framework of CST. We will try to understand CST from our location in the San Francisco Bay Area, engaging local activists and movements. Key questions of the course include: What are the core principles, foundations, and theological foundations of CST? How distinct is CST from secular social justice theories? How authoritative is CST? Is CST too abstract to be relevant to social justice struggles? Does CST have a theory of power or social change? Why is CST often separated from moral theology, systematic theology, and spirituality? Why do Catholics  disagree so much about CST? Can CST be a source of common ground between Catholics and people from other traditions and none in a religiously pluralistic society? [20 max enrollment, Auditors with faculty permission] ]