Liberalism and political economy stimulated the Roman Catholic Church’s specific theoretical position in relation to social philosophy and social economics. The paper analyses encyclical letters and other papal documents, as well as the writings of other Catholic scholars, to identify the theoretical premises used to distinguish the Church’s position from liberalism. Despite some common roots and conceptual similarities, the reference to natural law renders the central points of liberalism (freedom and individual property) non-comparable to the equivalent notions supported by Catholicism, affecting the Catholic approach to capitalism manifest in various moments of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As compared to other religions, the defining characteristic of Catholicism is the persistence of the hierarchy’s role in defining the moral order. Despite its perceived intrusion on individual autonomy, this is also found to have some positive effects on the development of the political economy. Some microeconomic interpretation of the issues at stake is supplied.

Roman Catholicism and the Founding Principles of Liberalism: Liberty and Private Property

Solari S.
2020

Abstract

Liberalism and political economy stimulated the Roman Catholic Church’s specific theoretical position in relation to social philosophy and social economics. The paper analyses encyclical letters and other papal documents, as well as the writings of other Catholic scholars, to identify the theoretical premises used to distinguish the Church’s position from liberalism. Despite some common roots and conceptual similarities, the reference to natural law renders the central points of liberalism (freedom and individual property) non-comparable to the equivalent notions supported by Catholicism, affecting the Catholic approach to capitalism manifest in various moments of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As compared to other religions, the defining characteristic of Catholicism is the persistence of the hierarchy’s role in defining the moral order. Despite its perceived intrusion on individual autonomy, this is also found to have some positive effects on the development of the political economy. Some microeconomic interpretation of the issues at stake is supplied.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3382692
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