Religion and Human Rights

Presenter/Author Information

John Sniegocki, Xavier University - Cincinnati

Location

University of Dayton

Start Date

10-2-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

October 2015

Abstract

Catholic Social Teaching (CST) has much to contribute to ongoing discussions of human rights. One important feature of CST is its holistic understanding of human rights, which includes social and economic rights along with political/civil rights. This paper will explore the understandings of economic rights and of economic democracy that are developed in the Catholic social tradition, with particular attention to the thought of Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis.

Some implications of these concepts for current realities in the United States and globally will be highlighted. Attention will also be given to critics of economic rights and economic democracy, such as Catholic author Michael Novak. Novak argues that an affirmation of economic rights would grant excessive power to the state and thus undermine liberty. This paper will argue that it is rather the absence of economic rights that is currently a more fundamental threat to liberty, leading to both concentrated economic power and concentrated control of political processes by monied interests. The deep connection between economic democracy and political democracy that is present in Catholic Social Teaching will be stressed. Concrete actions that could be taken to help foster greater political and economic democracy will be highlighted.

Comments

This biennial conference provides a unique space for scholars, practitioners and advocates to engage in collaboration, dialogue and critical analysis of human rights advocacy — locally and globally. Learn more about the Human Rights Center at the University of Dayton >>>.

 
Oct 2nd, 4:00 PM Oct 2nd, 5:30 PM

Catholic Social Teaching and Economic Rights (abstract)

University of Dayton

Catholic Social Teaching (CST) has much to contribute to ongoing discussions of human rights. One important feature of CST is its holistic understanding of human rights, which includes social and economic rights along with political/civil rights. This paper will explore the understandings of economic rights and of economic democracy that are developed in the Catholic social tradition, with particular attention to the thought of Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis.

Some implications of these concepts for current realities in the United States and globally will be highlighted. Attention will also be given to critics of economic rights and economic democracy, such as Catholic author Michael Novak. Novak argues that an affirmation of economic rights would grant excessive power to the state and thus undermine liberty. This paper will argue that it is rather the absence of economic rights that is currently a more fundamental threat to liberty, leading to both concentrated economic power and concentrated control of political processes by monied interests. The deep connection between economic democracy and political democracy that is present in Catholic Social Teaching will be stressed. Concrete actions that could be taken to help foster greater political and economic democracy will be highlighted.