This course, similar in its description and intent to the preceding course on Themes related to Christian Social Ethics I, focuses on specific issues pertaining to the politico-economic sphere such as church-state relations, economic development, business, migration, human rights and other related themes. Development and Application of the Just War Tradition
The course aims to familiarize students with the development of just war tradition and its application to concrete situations both in past and present wars. The course is divided into two parts. The first part will trace the historical development of the Churchs teaching on war and pacifism from the time of the early Church Fathers to the present. Protestant, Islamic, and secular perspectives on war and peace would also be discussed. The second part will take up various topics related to just war. Topics would include the rules of war, non-combatant immunity, sieges and economic sanctions, terrorism, guerrilla warfare, nuclear deterrence, military/humanitarian interventions, pre-emptive war, etc. Students are highly encouraged to participate in class discussions and share their experiences and insight regarding the class materials provided as well as historical and current conflicts or wars. “The Acting Person” of Karol Wojtyla
The name John Paul II cannot be underrated. Nor can his papal achievements for a quarter of a century be simply disregarded. Led by this man and guided by his profound social teachings, the Catholic Church in the 20th century came to be perceived by so many as the worlds single greatest voice for democracy and human rights. Only a few, however, know his background or the philosophy and theology behind his thinking.
This course on Karol Wojtyla is a systematic attempt at an understanding of the mind of the Personalist philosopher who became Pope John Paul II. The initial discussions will explore his life and times, especially taking into consideration the significant influences to his early philosophical formation. The succeeding discussions will examine in depth one of his central philosophical and theological persuasions the acting person the theme that is enshrined in his major work (Osoba i czyn, 1969) and is so pronounced even in his encyclical letters. A clear grasp of the Wojtylan concept of the human person as seen through his/her actions will eventually serve as a construct or mental framework for confronting certain moral issues of our times. The Social Justice Advocacy of Bartolome de las Casas
Bartolomé de las Casas, OP (1484-1566) challenged the injustices committed in Latin America during the era of Spanish discovery and conquest of the New World as well as its Evangelization. For about 40 years he was exposed to the reality of the people of the New World and witnessed their sufferings due to the brutal treatment of their conquerors. Later, the conquest and colonization of the New World were presented in Europe as a missionary endeavour, a means to justify their presence, at any cost. Fray Bartolomé fought for the victims rights a form of social justice advocacy ? and wrote many treatises and memorials, masterpieces of history, anthropology and applied theology. He combined rights with facts, reflection with the knowledge of the situation, and confronted the oppression with the law of Christ.
The aim of this course is to study his theology and philosophical worldview in context, one that was born from the reality of injustice in the early Evangelization of Latin America and closely related to the person and his works. Redemption was demonstrated with its obvious socio-historical component, as later promoted by Latin American liberation theologians of the 20th century. Though not required, some knowledge of the Spanish language would be helpful for students enrolling in this course. Corruption and Violence and the Formation of Social Conscience
This course heeds Pope Francis call to stop all forms of corruption. He says the corrupt politicians, the corrupt businessmen and the corrupt clergy are to be found everywhere and we have to tell the truth. Cardinal Tagle likewise laments, Corruption is like a dagger pointed at our Catholic hearts. Where did we fail? What has happened to the formation of conscience? Using political, economic, and cultural analyses, we probe this structural sin and show how it fuels poverty and conflict, smuggling and trafficking, environmental degradation and even religious demoralization. With Church teachings, Biblical re-readings and Christian witnessing, however, we embrace the path of conversion and embody a life of integrity despite the risks. From here flow fresh pastoral initiatives like accompanying whistleblowers, reforming parish financial practices, confronting bullies and cheaters in school and society, as well as parenting for integrity, interfaith partnership for ethical leadership, and giving self-audit retreats for good governance. We welcome students with grounding on moral theology, especially those with exposure to real-life tensions in prophetic ministry.