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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
8


on May 17, 2013
I bought this book so that I could "read along" with a student who was struggling with a theology course at a Jesuit high school. I'm not Catholic, so I didn't expect to really understand much of what I read. However, this book presents big ideas in a very accessible way; I couldn't put it down! I'm not sure how much I was able to help my student, but I learned a lot as I read with him; I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the roots of social justice thought in the Catholic Church (and in other faiths as well!).
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on August 27, 2016
Well this was a book purchase for my daughters schooling. I can say the book was a good choice of reading in that it relates religious teachings to how we conceive what is Just and fair.
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on February 25, 2015
graet
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on November 11, 2008
A good book for learning the current party line on Catholic social teaching. It is well organized and connects the Vatican documents to the social teaching. Very biased against liberation theology and the author has a hard time explaining the difference between social justice teaching and the traditional teaching of charity. However, the book helped me a lot while I was teaching a class on the social teachings of the Catholic Church.
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on April 27, 2000
In the preface, Thomas Massaro says that this book is intended to fill a gap. As a seminary professor, he could find no single book that provides an adequate overview of the Roman Catholic Church's teachings on how its members should interact with the larger secular society around them. This is what he means by the Church's "social teaching."
Sheed & Ward's "Come & See" series is aimed at general readers who want succinct, plain-English synopses of Catholic doctrine. They tapped Massaro not only as a subject matter expert, but as a top-notch homilist and writer who can reach a general audience with clarity, humor and insight. We now have the handy summary that he was looking for all these years.
The book explores the underpinnings of Catholic social thought (the influence of scripture, tradition, reason and experience), its evolution over the centuries (he places particular emphasis on papal encyclicals and other key documents since the late 19th century) and the major issues being grappled with today. He does a particularly fine job in discussing one age-old question: whether believers should withdraw from the larger society to escape its corrupting influences (as some groups such as the Amish do), or whether they should be engaged with it, attempting to reform it (but with the added issue of how they should compromise with people who have differing sets of beliefs). Throughout, he does a masterful job of pointing out ambiguities and contrasting viewpoints.
For the sake of full disclosure (the only ethical course), I must inform you that the author had asked me to review his first draft. So, I may be a bit prejudiced in my opinion. Nonetheless, trust me when I say that the pages issued forth from his keyboard pretty much as a finished product. He writes that well.
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I love this little book. I would not only fully echo what others have said below about this being an unusually readable, accessible introduction to Catholic Social Teaching, I would add that it's just lovely. The author, I feel, radiates, a palpable human goodness that was very moving for me.

I think its treatment of the evolving history of Catholic Social Thinking, the way it pinpoints the core themes and documents, and its insights into the future are particularly excellent. But the whole book is really wonderful. Massaro is simply a very good teacher who can orient people to the basics in a particularly constructive way.

Deserves to be widely read and is so approachable that I wish it could find its way into the hands of non-Catholics. Even many non-religious people, I suspect, would find it very helpful in clarifying their ethical and social thinking - and might well be surprised by the rigorous, painstaking thought the Catholic Church has done over the last century or so regarding many social evils and how to address them in human way.

I am also impressed by the way Massaro's writing lacks the angry polemic that characterises some writing on these themes - either towards the Church's purported failures or that of the world's. Polemic helps no one - the kind of abundant charity, conscience and clarity here is far more effective. So - bravo, Father Massoro! Yes, as our world threatens to tilt into an increasingly brutal capitalism, yours is voice of very needed, very human compassion and clarity.
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on April 23, 2001
In a very clear and easy to read style, Thomas Massaro gives a summary and explanation of the major principles of Catholic social teaching. This would make an excellent text in an introduction to Catholic social ethics course, or in a parish study group. One of the strengths of the book is his use of examples to illustrate how the various principles can help people think through what is the just response, both personally and in terms of the larger society, to a variety of social issues.
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on November 12, 2007
Mr. Thomas Massaro delivers a clearly written foundational resource for understanding of `Social Justice' no matter your religious preference. The elements and resources created in the Catholic Faith do not limit their ability to voice those areasthat we all need to develop a comprehension and COMMON plans of action in the one result of `Justice in our Social Teachings and Actions'! Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action (Come & See.)
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