1.2.6 Questions for discussion half way through the unit

Back to 1.2.5

Unit 1 Contents

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We are at an appropriate point in Unit 1 to review what has come up so far.  To enable that, here are three sets of questions for discussion.

(i)       Your prior knowledge of CST

(a) The first screen of the unit (1.1.1) included the following ‘reflection’.

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Reflection

A book called Catholic Social Teaching: Our Best Kept Secret is now in its fourth edition.1. In fact CST is much better known now than when the first edition of that book was published, in 1985.  But is CST still the Catholic Church’s ‘best kept secret’?  What do you think?

What do you know already about Catholic Social Teaching?

How do you know what you know:

  • from talks and sermons?
  • because you are a peace and justice activist?
  • from your family?
  • from previous study?
  • from the internet?

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Discuss with others your reactions to these questions.

(b) You read earlier an outline of the main principles of CST.  Open this again in a separate window: 1.1.6.

If someone had asked you in the past what those terms meant, which of them would you have been able to explain?

Which of those principles do you think you need to study more in order really to get to grips with what they mean, both in theory and in practice?

(c) Look again the list of the main documents that make up the Church’s global social teaching on 1.2.3 (half way down).

 

Which of those documents, if any, are you familiar with?  If you do know of some of them, how did you encounter them?

(ii)     The Christian gospel

In 1.2.2, I outlined what it means to speak of the Christian gospel.  You were then asked to step back and reflect on that outline, in the following way:

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Reflection

On this page [1.2.2] I’m trying to summarize the Christian gospel.  No doubt there are many ways of doing this.

The last page and this one together can be summed by saying that Christianity is good news because God has revealed God’s love and because God saves.

What do you make of the summary of ‘the gospel’ I have given?  From other knowledge you have of Christian faith, do you think anything fundamentally important is missing from it?   Do you think it is accurate?

How would you improve it?

I am certain it is incomplete: much more could be said in describing the gospel, and more will be added in a moment.

But I hope that what is here will do at this point near the start of study of the module.

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 With reference to both 1.2.1 and 1.2.2, discuss those questions.

(iii)      Scripture, reason and tradition

You might find this a more difficult question.

The screen before last, 1.2.4, outlined these three ‘sources’ of CST and how they are related.  In fact these are seen as main sources of Christian theology in general.

In your own engagement with Catholic Christianity – whether as a church member or not – which of those sources seems to you to be the most significant for the way the Church does things?   What about for Christian people in general?

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End of 1.2.6

Go to 1.3 MAIN PRINCIPLES OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING

Module B outline

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  1. Edward P DeBerri & James E Hug, Catholic Social Teaching: Our Best Kept Secret (4th ed., Center of Concern, 2003). 

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