The Virtue of Justice and Catholic Social Teaching


To Be Advised
Not Offered in 2020

This unit probes contemporary justice issues from the perspective of Moral Theology. A theological examination of justice draws on relevant biblical texts and writings of St Thomas Aquinas. The virtue of justice and its allied virtues are considered in some detail. An introduction to Catholic Social Teaching over the last 130 years is provided highlighting its theological foundation. From this perspective specific issues are addressed. The specific issues will be topical and may include: poverty, racism, peace, the just war tradition, social justice and liturgical prayer, property ownership, work, wages, and leisure.




face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


  • one 1,000-word seminar paper 30%
  • one 4,000-word research essay 40%
  • one 2,000-word text analysis 30%


  • Benedict XVI. Caritas in Veritate. Encyclical Letter. 2009.
  • Francis. Laudato Si. Encyclical Letter. 2015.
  • Benestad, J. Brian. Church, and Society: An Introduction to Catholic Social Doctrine. Catholic Moral Thought. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2011.
  • DeBerri, Edward P., James E. Hug, Peter J. Henriot, and Michael J. Schultheis. Catholic Social Teaching: Our Best Kept Secret. 4th ed. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004.
  • Houston, Walter J. Contending for Justice: Ideologies and Theologies of Social Justice in the Old Testament. London: T. & T. Clark, 2008.
  • McOustra, Christopher. Love in the Economy: Catholic Social Doctrine for the Individual. Slough: St. Pauls, 2000.
  • Pieper, Josef. The Four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2003. 
  • Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. 2004.
  • Schubeck, Thomas L. Love That Does Justice. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2007.
  • Scott, Margaret. The Eucharist and Social Justice. Mahwah: Paulist, 2009.