Chapter 2: The Christian Vision of Economic Life

After reading Chapter 2 of Economic Justice for All, post your thoughts in the comments section regarding the following discussion questions:

  1. In the pastoral letter, we read, “Creation is a gift; men and women are to be faithful stewards in caring for the earth. They can justly consider that by their labor they are unfolding the Creator’s work.” In your own work, how do you see yourself as helping to “unfold” the gift of creation? What are some of the economic factors in today’s society that either enhance or betray this “gift of creation”? What did the early church writers mean when they said that “whatever belongs to God belongs to all”?
  2. The bishops propose an ethical framework for guiding economic life today. They describe the duties we have to one another and to the community as a whole, the human rights of every person, and several priorities that should guide economic choices. What are some of these duties? What constitutes basic human rights? Why are economic rights important for the protection of human dignity? How are they different from civil and political rights? What are some contemporary examples of human rights violations?
  3. What is meant by the term “social sin”? In what sense do our moral obligations extend beyond personal responsibilities to social realities?
  4. The bishops say, “It is in their daily work . . . that persons become the subjects and creators of the economic life of the nation. Thus, it is primarily through their daily labor that people make their most important contributions to economic justice.” What implications does this have for your own life?

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