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Martin O'Malley: Wilhelm Ketteler and the Birth of Modern Catholic Social Thought

Martin O'Malley

Wilhelm Ketteler and the Birth of Modern Catholic Social Thought

A Catholic Manifesto in Revolutionary 1848

Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler responded to the “Social Question” of 1848 with a series of six sermons, the Advent Sermons, and thereby laid the theoretical groundwork for “Modern Catholic Social Thought.” Taken together, they were a ‘manifesto’ delivered within a year of Karl Marx’s and Friedrich Engel’s famous Communist Manifesto. Ketteler’s sermons declared the social principles, concerns and goals for Roman Catholicism as the church confronted both the opportunities and dangers of modern secular politics. He read the signs of the times with remarkable clarity and saw the danger posed by radical social solutions such as communism. His response was distinctively modern in that he refused to hide behind a defensive or nostalgic rejection of representational politics or the emerging democratic institutions. He addressed the public sphere in a way that recognized that governments rule legitimately only if they represent the will and interests of the people. And further, he used a language of rights that recognized the claims of the church and of individuals in a way that was clearly modern. Yet, Ketteler’s achievement was one that remained essentially rooted in Catholic traditions - especially St. Thomas Aquinas - and specifically rejected the individualism and atomism often associated with liberalism, rights, and democracy. Thus it is fitting to call the sermons a Catholic manifesto and to understand this moment as the birth of Modern Catholic Social Thought.

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Inhaltsverzeichnis und Einleitung (pdf)

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  • Hardcover: 204 Seiten
    Format: 20,5 x 14,5
    ISBN 978-3-8316-0846-1
    Erschienen: 07.01.2009

    29,00 € (Preisbindung aufgehoben)

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  • E-Book: 204 Seiten
    Format: 20,5 x 14,5
    ISBN 978-3-8316-0846-1
    Erschienen: 07.01.2009

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Über den Autor

Martin J. O’Malley, Editor and Research Fellow at the Center for Applied Ethics, EthikZentrum, at the Friedrich Schiller University, Jena. A graduate of Hamilton College, (BA 1988), he received an MA in Philosophy at St. Louis University (1993), after which he taught for two years in the history and philosophy departments at LeMoyne College, New York. Studying at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA, he received a Masters of Divinity (1998) and a Licentiate in Moral Theology (2008). He received a doctorate from Boston College in Theological Ethics (2007). Teaching positions include Teaching Fellowships at Harvard University (1996, 1998) and Boston College (2004, 2005), and Instructor in Theology at Loyola College, Maryland (2004-2006). Research positions include Visiting Fellowships at The Woodstock Theological Center, Washington DC (1995, 1998), and at the Institut für Gesellschaftspolitik an der Hochschule für Philosophie, Munich (2003, 2005).

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