Catholic Social Teaching and Economic Globalization: The Quest for Alternatives

By John Sniegocki | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
RE-ENVISIONING
CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING

The preceding chapters have examined debates concerning economic development and globalization and have explored the fundamental principles of Catholic Social Teaching. This chapter will explore in greater detail the potential contribution that CST can make to the quest for alternatives to dominant neoliberal/ modernizationist policies. Several suggestions will also be made for the further enhancement of CST, particularly through the incorporation of insights from radical political economists and grassroots critics of development. Among the issues that will be examined are the need for a deeper structural analysis of capitalism, increased attention to the impacts of current policies on women, increased participation by women in the formulation of CST, greater recognition of the importance of grassroots movements and nonviolent social struggle in effecting social change, and heightened attention to cultural and ecological issues. After exploring these suggested enhancements of CST, the final section of this chapter will explore concrete actions that Christians (and others) can take to respond constructively to the issues that this book has addressed.


THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF CST TO THE
DEVELOPMENT DEBATE

Numerous important contributions made by CST to development discussions have been highlighted throughout this book. The notion of integral development, for example, is of utmost importance. It calls into question policies that focus primarily upon economic growth. Instead, CST calls for a more holistic conception of development that affirms the importance of just distribution, the meeting of basic needs, participation, community, ecological concern, respect for diverse cultures, and the fostering of conditions conducive to spiritual growth. To the extent that dominant approaches to development either ignore or

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