Caritas in Veritate: Economic activity as personal encounter and the economy of gratuitousness

We first survey the Catholic social justice tradition, the foundation on which Caritas in Veritate builds. Then we discuss Benedict’s addition of love to the philosophical virtues (as applied to economics), and how radical a change that makes to an ethical perspective on economics. We emphasise the reality of the interpersonal aspects of present-day economic exchanges, using insights from two disciplines that have recognized that reality, human resources and marketing. Finally, we examine the prospects for an economics of gratuitousness at a level higher than the individual, that is, for businesses devoted to social ends more than profit.
Keywords Social justice  Gratuitousness  Caritas in veritate  Benedict XVI
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