1.4.1 The rest of Module B

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Unit 1 Contents

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Here is a very brief outline of what is to come.

Unit 2 does two things.  First, it introduces study of the Bible in order for you to see the way that biblical texts relate to and form the background to much that is in contemporary CST.  For this we shall focus on one theme within the Bible, which is called here ‘the just government strand’.

Second, it outlines the history of the Catholic Church’s engagement with the issues that CST addresses.  In doing this, it gives most attention to the ‘modern’ period of Western history (since about 1700), in order to enable you to understand the historical context in which current CST has developed.  We shall give some attention to Rerum Novarum, the first great social encyclical of modern CST, and also to the impact of the groundbreaking developments at the time of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.

Unit 3 addresses what is perhaps the largest and most important question that needs answering if CST is going to form a basis for citizens’ engagement in public life: what is the role of government?  Only if we can give an answer to this can we know what to aim to achieve through the various avenues of political participation that democracy makes possible.  This unit focuses on the principle of subsidiarity, and on the second major social encyclical, Quadragesimo Anno of 1931, in which that principle was first explicitly presented.

Unit 4 looks at issues around participation in public life – including democracy and freedom.  It enables study of what CST has to say about what to do in order to enter the fray and be active as citizens working for a just and free society.

Each of units 5 to 7 then examines what justice means in practice in one or more area of policy.  These are:

  • criminal justice and social justice
  • international development, which in Britain is the main focus of the work of Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD)
  • peace and war.

The last unit in the module, Unit 8, will enable you, in light of the study of the rest, to put the pieces together.  It will go further that the exercise on the last screen in enabling you to assess whether, overall, CST presents a coherent vision of justice and the common good.  It will also introduce contrasting critical assessments of this.

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End of 1.4.1

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Module B Outline

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