Human Dignity and the Common Good: The Great Papal Social Encyclicals from Leo XIII to John Paul II

Human Dignity and the Common Good: The Great Papal Social Encyclicals from Leo XIII to John Paul II

Human Dignity and the Common Good: The Great Papal Social Encyclicals from Leo XIII to John Paul II

Human Dignity and the Common Good: The Great Papal Social Encyclicals from Leo XIII to John Paul II

Synopsis

Consisting of the full text of eight papal social encyclicals dating back to 1891 and the papacy of Leo XIII, and one important papal radio address on Christian social ethics, this reference work also introduces, outlines, and summarizes the texts in a clear, understandable language. Each encyclical was intended to be a commentary on and modernization of Leo XIII's masterly and foundational encyclical Rerum Novarum, and Rousseau brings them together using their standard paragraph numbering system for easy reference. This valuable reference represents a unique thematic approach to these important religious and social documents.

Readers will better understand the social, economic, political and thoroughly Christian ideas of Popes throughout the 20th century with the outline and summary interpretation of each text.

Excerpt

Trying to drive to an address in New York City requires a good map of the city or at least a working knowledge of its street grids and numbering system. The city is so vast, its streets so crowded, its traffic so chaotic to the inexperienced, that one may get lost or finally arrive at one's destination in a state of exhaustion. If one looks at the statements made by Roman Catholic popes over the past 100 years, one doesn't even have the New York-type grids and maps, but a tremendous mass of addresses, letters, decrees and encyclicals dealing with the Church and world events from the 1890s to the 1990s. Modern computerized travel, some even using satellites, can provide a detailed itinerary from Point A in city X to point B in city Y by drawing a line on a map showing all the streets to follow and the turns to take to get from one point to the other. Unfortunately, papal documents don't lend themselves to that kind of neat graphic solution. But what can be done with them is to select narrowly and organize tightly so that their study can become manageable. Thus this work confines itself to one topic, Catholic social teaching, and one kind of documents, the eight major papal encyclicals on the Church's social teaching, going from Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum in 1891 to John Paul II's Centesimus Annus in 1991, plus an important wartime anniversary address on Rerum in 1941 by Pius XII. In doing so, it deliberately excludes texts on this issue from Vatican II and various Episcopal Conferences as well as related but less formal papal statements.

The main purpose of this work men is to simply present all these encyclicals in one convenient volume. Strangely enough, though there are many editions of the texts of individual social encyclicals, there are very few mat collect them together and offer some guidance in dealing with their complexity and length.

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