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Catholic Social Teaching and Movements [Paperback]

By Marvin L. Krier Mich (Author)
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Item description for Catholic Social Teaching and Movements by Marvin L. Krier Mich...

This excellent and informative resource traces the steps of some of the key social movements in the Catholic Church by focusing on the people behind the movements. Highly recommended for high school seniors and introductory level college students. Also for all who are interested in Catholic Social Teaching. It tells the story of Catholic social teaching from the perspective of official church documents but especially through the movements and persons who helped shape the teaching within the documents.

Publishers Description
Putting human faces on the Church's social teachings: that's what this unique book is about. The author aims to tell the story of Catholic social tradition "from below" and "from above, " from the perspective of the official teachings and the movements and persons that expressed and shaped that teaching.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Twenty-Third Publications
Pages   475
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.16" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.99"
Weight:   1.43 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 1999
Publisher   Twenty-Third Publications
ISBN  089622936X  
ISBN13  9780896229365  

Availability  0 units.

More About Marvin L. Krier Mich

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Marvin L. Krier Mich is Director of Social Policy at the Catholic Family Center, a regional office of Catholic Charities in Rochester. He is also president of the Greater Rochester Community of Churches. In addition to the original The Challenge and Spirituality of Catholic Social Teaching (2005), his books include Catholic Social Teaching and Movements (1998) and, as co-author, St. Francis and the Sultan: Catholics and Muslims Working Together for the Common Good (Orbis, 2011).

Marvin L. Krier Mich currently resides in Rochester, in the state of New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Church History
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Catholic Social Teaching and Movements?

A Good Historical Overview, Marred at Times by Personal Views  Jan 22, 2007
I was lent a copy of Dr. Mich's Book by my undergraduate theology advisor in order to prepare a bit for a conference I was attending for the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the writing of Laborem Exercens. Unbeknownst to both me and my former advisor, Dr. Mich was attending the conference and was to give a brief lecture. Had I not met Dr. Mich and discussed several subjects about his book with him, I would be much more apt to give the text a 3 out of 5 for reasons discussed above. However, in the course of my questions and discussion with Dr. Mich, he helped to recant the reservations which I had about his views on some conservative and Papal view-points.

On a positive note, this text has a great review of hallmark texts and individuals in modern Catholic Social thought. It traces from the roots of Rerum Novarum through the publication of the book, including such contemporary topics as feminism and environmentalism. The earliest chapters are magnificent overviews of those individuals involved in work movements as well as theorists. Through the documents of the Second Vatican Council (primarily Gaudium et Spes), Dr. Mich remains relatively fair in his assessment of all sides of the situation. If there is one negative assessment here, it may be that there isn't as much reflection on the integration of Catholic Social Thought with the remainder of systematic theology. Nonetheless, these topics are covered with enough depth to introduce key players and events (both European and those in the Americas) but with enough brevity to allow the reader to quickly see the "big picture" of the development of Catholic Social Though.

My one major issue with this text, however, became more conspicuous as Dr. Mich covered the semi-tumultuous issues surrounding African-American integration into the American Church. An element of anti-institutionalism began to surface here by means of what seems to me to have been a disproportionately negative view of the Church based more on anecdotes and not the theological underpinnings of the Faith. Individual discrepancies at times become the lens through which he views the Church as a whole and nearly judges the Church's essence on this presupposition. While I thought this interpretation might be a bit over the top, his handling of Liberation theology, Feminism, Environmentalism, and the South American Episcopal Synod was more than slanted and belligerent toward the hierarchy of the church. This is particularly the case in the Synod and an NCCB document on women in the Church. Any imposition of authority from above is interpreted very unfairly without much positive consideration given to the accused parties. However, in conversation with the author, he did somewhat mediate the tone which I found to be a bit too acerbic in the text of the book. I can see where someone with more liberal-leaning tendencies would have a tone like that which he had and remain faithful to the Church. However, without the background gained by speaking with him, these comments are able to be understood in a context which is not anti-clerical, albeit a bit too democratic in ecclesiology.

With these things in mind, I still recommend the text highly. It provides a most excellent background into the first hundred years of major Catholic Social Thought and Action. However, the marring caused by the unfair slant of the author about more contemporary topics is lamentable to say the least. Because of personal discussion with Dr. Mich, I am able to place this text on an "above average" level of 4 stars. Even so, I have reservations both in the aforementioned tone as well as the weakly democratic ecclesiology which is concomitant with his sense of the hierarchy.
Five Stars - despite One Serious Fault  Jul 30, 2005
Oh Lord, what a mixture here of profound, profound value, heart and beauty ... and a frequent dogmatic, polemical tone that disserves the author's sincere, heartfelt intent.

Let me begin with the gold. The author cares, the author *obviously* cares. Thus his book can serve to open one's heart to the terrible, terrible suffering the victims of third world poverty, war, racism and other contemporary evils, really experience - every moment of our lives. Mich's compassionate concern for those who really suffer commands the deepest respect.

Joined to this, is his most thorough, well researched account of the last hundred and fifty years of Catholic response. Mich's expansive, inclusive approach embraces both the Vatican's official teaching - and the many great figures of the lower clergy and laity who have often served to inspire the Popes. His vivid writing brings a long forgotten history of heroic souls alive, while his consideration of the future is often penetrating. Moreover his grasp not only of the horror of the global crisis - but also his grasp of the economic, political, cultural , environmental dynamics at its root, is often acute. One can learn a great deal indeed from this book.

It is with deep regret then, that I turn to a less commendable aspect of Mich's otherwise very fine effort. I have in mind here, an editorializing tone that is frequently disingenuous. Basically a set of opinions Mich holds about the Vatican - which of course he has every right to hold - are here subtly presented as though they were not *opinions*, but rather as facts - plain, straight facts, without nuance, without ambiguity.

To me, there seems to be little consciousness here as to why Catholics of a different persuasion might come to different conclusions to Mich. Thus, if the more traditional approach of the Vatican falls foul of Mich's view, its various efforts amount to `useless', `a crass violation' and so on - and are reduced to Vatican power politics and `phobia'. And like many, Mich speaks of these matters as though they were simply facts to be accepted.

One particularly disingenuous example of what I mean occurs in the treatment of liberation theology. In a discussion question at the end of his chapter, Mich encourages readers to ponder `Why did the Vatican controlled leadership [of a Latin American conference] reject the experience based method of liberation theology and substitute a method that begins with the ... official ... teachings?'

But this is disingenuous, inasmuch as throughout the chapter, Mich has not allowed any other view than his own to surface. The reader who does not know better can only answer the question the way Mich has done. And Mich's answer boils down to this: the Vatican acted as it did out of fear and power-hunger. And apparently nothing else.

But there *are* other possible explanations. After long consideration of the matter, I am convinced of the aching heart of John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger who, like Mich, really cared. And I am convinced they were certain that third world agony would not be helped by throwing out the baby with the bathwater ... That liberation theology would be stronger with a living mystical Catholicism, rather than without it. This is not the place for further consideration of these matters, but further indications along these lines can be found elsewhere in my this site reviews.

My point is that the facts deserve deeper consideration than simply writing the Vatican off as if it were just power-crazed. As if that was all there was to it. Although I sadly suspect this is what Mich sincerely believes - as do millions of other sincere, caring Catholics who haven't penetrated the hearts of figures such as John Paul.

Yes, it is also true that Mich has many fine things to say about present Vatican policy - WHEN he agrees with it. Thus, for example, he deeply commends the Vatican's condemnation of modern capitalism and war. It is only where he disagrees, that nuance, ambiguity and discussion disappear. When Mich disagrees, the Vatican is suddenly reduced to an ogre. Or so it seems to this reader.

This is sad, indeed. But it does not diminish the fact that this book is also filled with real heart, admirable scholarship, comprehensive documentation of the world's suffering and the response of the entire Catholic Church. So, again: five stars. This is a great book.Very highly recommended.
Very Complete  May 3, 2001
This book is great. It explores the ideas of Catholic Social Teaching from not only the official papal encyclicals, but also from unofficial drafts of encyclicals, letters of the bishops, grass roots movements by lay Catholics, and the processes which all of these have gone through to be formed. Mich has done a thorough job and allows one to truly appreciate the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching that most people know so little about. It also opens up the doors to many currently hot topics and critiques what the church has done so far and where it could go in the future. A great book that anyone who has the time should read!
Though this is not a book I would normally read, I did enjoy it. It was assigned for a college course that I was taking. In the Introduction it states that the "social teachings" of the catholic church are its best kept secret and I agree. I never knew it had such a deep tradition in social teachings. It goes back to 1848 and finishes off in 1992. I never knew the history of the catholic church like it is shown here. It also illustrates the many roles activists played, many of them were women. Not only does it show the history of the church, but it can help one to better handle their own situations in the present world and be strong. A book that will ope the eyes of many and be enjoyed by all. It is not just for Catholics, everyone should read this book.

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