The introduction provides an overview and history of Catholic Social Teachings and the shift toward Social Catholicism. It explains how nineteenth-century labor struggles prompted the Roman Catholic Church to address the most pressing problem of that era. It also explores key themes in these social teachings, including the dignity of workers, the common good, solidarity, the option for the poor and vulnerable, the rights of workers, peace and reconciliation, and preservation of the environment. The introduction explains the sources and methods for developing the church’s doctrines. It concludes with an explanation of “lived religion” as the framework for examining how US Catholic laypeople put these teachings into action in their everyday lives, in their communities, and in their political contexts.
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