Sorensen Lecture by Jean Porter, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame. (Part of an annual YDS lecture series devoted to politics and ethics.)
Contemporary Catholic social teachings take their starting points from early encyclicals and theological writings focused on the rights of labor. As the condition of the working classes in the developed world improved, Catholic social teachings were increasingly focused on the situation of the so-called Third World, the challenges of globalization, and most recently the environmental crisis. At the same time, however, the situation of the working class has once again deteriorated, especially within the United States. In this context, early Catholic doctrines pertaining to the rights of the working class are once again timely, not only for Catholics but for everyone who would hope to offer a theological response to working class anger. This lecture will look at three aspects of these doctrines which would seem to be especially relevant today: the saliency of social class, the limitations of ownership, and the tradition of support for unions.
Location: Niebuhr Hall, Yale Divinity School