Review by Choice Review
Thompson (Bellarmine Univ.) has written a very solid introduction to the official social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. He explores the history of Catholic social teaching, examines the social mission of the church and its relation to politics, and provides detailed discussion of Catholic teaching on economic justice, war and peace, the consistent ethic of life, and ecological theology/ethics. Thompson concludes with an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the Catholic social teaching tradition. Several chapters include discussion of specific individuals who have exemplified Catholic social teaching in practice, such as Cesar Chavez and Dorothy Stang. Each chapter ends with questions for reflection and discussion. Whereas Thompson may underemphasize some of the more radical and challenging aspects of Catholic social teaching (e.g., its sharp critique of neoliberal capitalism and the depth of its criticisms of all modern war), the book overall is excellent and will be useful to anyone interested in the topic. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. J. H. Sniegocki Xavier University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.