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Introducing charity as a social principle valid not only for the micro-relationships like the family or friendship but also for the macro-relationships like the economy or politics, poses a challenge, because charity, as the central message of the Gospel and the distinguishing Christian virtue, is not a directly applicable social program. It requires the mediation both of a correct political philosophy and of a social organization based on legal justice. However, charity is difficult to handle in organizations because the exigencies of charity go beyond justice and are difficult to predict. Love (charity, benevolence, etc.) gives without return, without calculation. Love transcends the loving person and therefore cannot be forced into a socio-legal structure that needs regularity and predictability in order to function. This then is the challenge for Christians striving to evangelize the society in general and the economy in particular: Charity is the hallmark of Christian ethics, but is not fit to function as an immediately applicable social principle. Christians therefore struggle to find the way that charity can manifest itself institutionally in a free market economy. This book is a result of such an endeavor. We ask in which way the big social principles of human dignity, solidarity and subsidiarity as they have been developed in centuries of Catholic social thought and magisterial teaching express charity as a principle in society, and how solidarity is compatible with freedom and spontaneity.
Martin Schlag. Born 1964 in New York, USA. 1991 Doctor iuris at the University of Vienna. 1996 priestly ordination in the Prelature of Opus Dei. 1998 Doctor Theologiae at the Pontifical University Santa Croce. Since 2008 full professor for social moral theology at the same University. 2012 appointment as Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Numerous publications. His last book, edited together with Domènec Melé, appeared in Springer under the title “Humanism in Economics and Business. Perspectives of the Catholic Social Tradition”.
Juan Andrés Mercado. Assistant Professor (1996-2002) and Associate Professor (2003- 2013) of History of Modern Philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Full Professor of Applied Ethics (2014) at the same University. Founded “MCE - Markets, Culture and Ethics Research Centre”. Visiting Professor at IPADE Business School (Mexico City).
Jennifer E. Miller. Cajun by birth, Dr. Jennifer E. Miller has studied at the Pontifical Universities of the Angelicum and the Gregorian, as well as at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome, obtaining her doctorate with a thesis in moral theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. She has taught courses on moral theology and business ethics in the United States and in Italy. Currently Directress of Studies at the Markets, Culture and Ethics Research Centre at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Dr. Miller’s principle areas of research are the economy and the family.