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Catholic Social ActivismProgressive Movements in the United States$
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Sharon Erickson Nepstad

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479885480

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479885480.001.0001

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Dignity and Just Treatment of Workers

Dignity and Just Treatment of Workers

(p.15) 1 Dignity and Just Treatment of Workers
Catholic Social Activism

Sharon Erickson Nepstad

NYU Press

This chapter examines some of the historical trends, events, individuals, and experiences that pushed Pope Leo XIII in 1891 to release Rerum Novarum, the first papal encyclical. It also summarizes the main themes of this encyclical, whose title is translated as “The Condition of Labor.” It further provides an overview of the second papal encyclical, Quadragesimo Anno (“After Forty Years,” also known as “The Reconstruction of the Social Order”), released in 1931 by Pope Pius XI. The chapter concludes with an exploration of how these teachings on labor were interpreted and put into practice by the Catholic Worker movement, led by Dorothy Day, and the United Farm Workers movement, led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta.

Keywords:   Rerum Novarum, Quadragesimo Anno, labor, Pope Leo XIII, Pope Pius XI, Catholic Worker, Dorothy Day, United Farm Workers, César Chávez, Dolores Huerta

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