8.2.7 Questions for discussion half way through unit

Back to 8.2.6

Unit 8 Contents

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(a)  Open the chronology of historical events which is the ‘response’ to the ‘exercise’ on 8.1.2, here.

In light of what you know about the history of the past 200 years or so, are there events of great significance for the development of CST, or more generally, that you think should be added to the chronology?

(b)  From all the historical elements in the module, which of the following four kinds of factors do you see as more and as less important in bringing about historical change?  Why?  (These were introduced in 8.1.4)

 

  • Leading individuals, whether in politics, religion, the media, business or other spheres
  • The combined effects of ordinary people’s actions
  • Economic forces and interests
  • Ideas and beliefs 

Discuss the same question in relation to one or more of the following historical developments covered in this module: 

  • The emergence of ecological crisis
  • The end of Communism in eastern/central Europe in 1989-91
  • The financial and economic crises of 2008-2013
  • The major changes in family life in the UK shown by statistics in 6.1.3, notably the fall in the number of marriages per head of population by about 50% since 1950, and the four-fold increase in civil divorces following divorce-law reform in 1970 (see 6.1.3)

(c)  In introducing Centesimus Annus, I said,

Centesimus Annus is… an outstanding statement that is worth reading in full.  In an intellectually compelling way, it presents both an incisive critique of the main visions of social and economic life that dominated the twentieth century (especially Communism) and a constructive vision of what CST stands for. (8.2.1)

After reading the document, perhaps you agree or perhaps you are entirely unconvinced!

What do you see as the distinctive strengths of CA 

What would you identify as its weaknesses?

(d)  In light of all you have learned from the module, to what extent was CA an appropriate and fitting statement to mark the hundredth anniversary of Rerum Novarum

If you had had to advise the Vatican on what it needed to say, what advice would you have given?

(e)  The last screen referred to the fact that CST has developed, and no doubt it will develop further.  Discuss the following questions, paraphrased from those posed on that screen:

In relation to the subjects studied in the module, what aspects of them has CST especially focused on, and what has it not given much attention to?

What could benefit from clarification?

Are there topics on which development is necessary, perhaps urgently?

These last questions naturally lead us into the critical assessment of CST.

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End of 8.2.7

Go to 8.3 CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE MODERN CST TRADITION

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