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Sociology and Catholic Social Teaching: Contemporary Theory and Research contains essays by key scholars in the territory where Catholic social thought and secular sociology meet, and offers a much needed alternative to the relativism and individualism that so often characterize social scientific analysis today. Contributors to this volume argue that Catholic social teaching, as articulated so powerfully today in recent papal encyclicals and major summations such as the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, offers a powerful moral framework for addressing today's pressing social problems. This is especially true since many of its tenets find solid support in social scientific research on the nature of the person and the workings of culture and social institutions. Sponsored by the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, and including work by sociologists from both the Society and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, this volume is offered in the spirit of Pope John Paul II's exhortation to draw from contemporary social science whatever can help the Church better understand contemporary social issues and trends and thus better serve humanity.

Specific articles address such topics as the Church as a virtual nation in the international arena; changing cultural norms regarding deviance; the historical and contemporary relationship between Catholicism and mainstream academic sociology; empirical support for a natural law perspective on family relations; the social psychology of happiness and moral behavior among emerging adults; the sociology of knowledge from a distinctively Catholic perspective; and how the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity can be used to analyze and evaluate the functioning of institutions like the family, education and the state. Each author also offers some autobiographical reflections on how they relate sociology and their life of Faith.

This anthology will interest scholars in both sociology and Catholic social thought, as well as advanced undergraduate and graduate students in these areas.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810882973
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 08/31/2012
Series: Catholic Social Thought Series , #6
Pages: 310
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Stephen R. Sharkey is professor of Sociology and Senior Scholar for Liberal Learning at Alverno College. He is the Sociology disciplinary section chair of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, and a member of University Faculty for Life.

Joseph A. Varacalli, Ph.D., is S.U.N.Y. Distinguished Service Professor and Director of the Center for Catholic Studies at Nassau Community College-S.U.N.Y.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction ix

Part 1 Contributions from the Society of Catholic Social Scientists 1

1 Toward a Catholic Sociological Imagination: Sociologies in the Service of Catholic Social Teaching Stephen R. Sharkey 3

2 Imagined Communions: The Virtual Nation for Virtuous Nations D. Paul Sullins 41

3 Beyond the "Dictatorship of Relativism": Toward a Sociology of Knowledge, Catholic-Style Joseph A. Varacalli 59

4 Catholic Social Teachings and the Sociology of Deviance Anne Hendershott 91

5 How a Catholic Grounding Can Contribute to the Empirical Social Sciences Patrick Fagan 117

6 A Cohort Analysis of Happiness among Young Adults G. Alexander Ross Michael C. Wagner 129

7 Responding to the Challenge of Postmodernism: Potential Grounds for Future Collaboration between Sociology and Catholic Social Thought Stephen R. Sharkey 145

Part 2 Contributions from the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Selections from the Proceedings of the 14th Annual Meeting of the Academy entitled "Pursuing the Common Good: How Solidarity and Subsidiarity Can Work Together," Rome, 2008. 181

8 Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Participants in the 14th Session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences Pope Benedict XVI 183

9 Address to the Holy Father Margaret S. Archer 185

10 Pursuing the Common Good: How Solidarity and Subsidiarity Can Work Together. Conference Introduction Margaret S. Archer Pierpaolo Donati 187

11 Discovering the Relational Character of the Common Good Pierpaolo Donati 193

12 Education, Subsidiarity, and Solidarity: Past, Present, and Future Margaret S. Archer 217

Part 3 About the Authors: Personal and Professional Reflections on Doing Sociology to Serve the Church 251

13 Margaret S. Archer 253

14 Pierpaolo Donati 257

15 Patrick Fagan 261

16 Anne Hendershott 265

17 G. Alexander Ross 269

18 Stephen R. Sharkey 273

19 D. Paul Sullins 277

20 Joseph A. Varacalli 281

Index 283

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