Across all sections of Faith, Religion, & Society, students work on a substantial assignment that engages Catholic Social Teaching. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate your basic comprehension of CST as a framework, and to explore its implications for “society” by thinking about a contemporary social justice issue.
In order to complete the project, follow the steps outlined below, which culminate in an essay of 1300-1500 words.
Step 1 – Focus: Choose one (1) of the following contemporary justice issues related to “the Dignity of Work and
the Rights of Workers”:
A. Living Wage/Minimum Wage
B. Worker Organization (Unions)
C. Rights of Immigrant and Migrant Workers
D. Globalization & Work
Step 2 – Review: Take notes on where your topic (and “work” more broadly) appears in the course material
Step 3 – Expand and Deepen: Explore at least two outside-of-class sources (see “Appendix 1” below) to develop
your understanding of what Catholic Social Teaching has to say about your chosen topic. Take notes.
Some questions to ask in your research:
• What position does CST tend to take on the issue? Why?
• What particular aspects or questions about the issue does the CST framework bring out?
Step 4 – Evaluate and Reflect: Do you find CST to be helpful in this instance or not? What is helpful about it?
Are there ways in which you would want to develop CST or critique it? How does CST intersect with the way you think about your own life, work, vocation? Take notes.
Step 5 – Compose
After you have worked through the 4 steps of preparation listed above, use your notes from those steps to support you in writing essay. The essay should be between 1300 and 1500 words total.
The essay should have a clear thesis (the main point that you are going to demonstrate throughout the essay) that pertains to your theme. It should include what you discovered in all of the steps above, but it does not have to be organized according to those steps.
It is essential to be specific and not use platitudes (i.e. general, vague statements about the poor, work, the environment, religion, society, love, Jesus, faith, life, etc.). The success or failure of your work depends upon being able to convince your reader with concrete examples.
Remember that the project asks you to focus on justice questions (addressing “the disease”) rather than on charity
questions (addressing “the symptoms”).
APPENDIX 1: SOURCE REQUIREMENTS
Your essay must include a minimum of six (6) sources in total:
● Use at least three (3) of the sources we have read in the course (The Long Loneliness, Massaro, Rerum
Novarum, Quadragesimo Anno, Deus Caritas Est, Caritas in Veritate, Laudato Si’)
● Use at least three (3) additional substantial CST sources (e.g. encyclical, book, article) that pertain to