The Hermeneutical Function of the Family in Right Understanding of Catholic Social Teaching and Its Use for Catholic University Education

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Justin Anderson

Abstract

In this paper, I argue that a de facto politicizing approach to the principles of Catholic Social Teaching miscasts several qualities of that body of teaching, leading to several negative prejudices. As a remedy to this politicization, I propose a “familial hermeneutical” approach that renders the principles of Catholic Social Teaching more comprehensible and avoids the negative effects of politicization. I address possible objections to this proposal and in the process of replying further clarify the proposal. Finally, I draw out the thesis’s practical implications for Catholic higher education by indicating how the familial hermeneutic can assist the curricula of programs such as business ethics, where a chief difficulty is inculcating in the student a proper perception of how to take a principled approach to subject matter.

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Author Biography

Justin Anderson, Seton Hall University

Justin Anderson, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Moral Theology, Seton Hall University.