The Drama of Social Sin and the (Im)Possibility of Solidarity: Reinhold Niebuhr and Modern Catholic Social Teaching

Studies in Christian Ethics 22 (4):442-460 (2009)

Abstract
Recent Catholic social teaching’s treatments of social sin and its proposed remedy, neighbor-love conceived as solidarity, represent genuine advances in this modern Christian tradition. This essay asks what Niebuhr’s ethical analysis might add to, or question about, these Catholic interpretations. After briefly describing how these themes are enunciated in post-Vatican II documents, and Niebuhr’s approach to like issues, I identify several challenges, cautions and additions that Niebuhr might offer to Catholic leaders seeking to understand social sin and to promote solidary action. Suggesting the merits of a more ‘Niebuhrian’ Catholic social ethic, and a more ‘Catholic’ Niebuhrian realism, I argue that articulating a Catholic social agenda with a Niebuhrian perspective can address weaknesses that undercut each tradition’s ability to motivate and sustain effective work for justice. Both traditions also need to better connect social ethics and spirituality, and more systematically account for the social-theoretical assumptions their moral discourse depends upon or implies
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0953946809340947
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,330
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Advocating Worker Justice.Gerald J. Beyer - 2017 - Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (2):230-254.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-12-01

Total views
82 ( #106,562 of 2,285,998 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
27 ( #33,193 of 2,285,998 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature