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date: 03 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes the historical evolution of European Catholic theology and economic ideas from the turn of the nineteenth century to the late twentieth century. It focuses on the evolution of Catholic economic thought and its effort to evaluate the workings of economic life according to a definite set of religious principles, with particular attention to the attempts of building a distinctive Catholic approach to political economy (and later in economics). We will emphasize the commonalities identified among authors and to the Catholic efforts to engage with economics and to be accepted into the arena of political economy. The analysis will show how Catholic economic has changed during this period, with the attempts to undermine the foundations of liberal market economics and, if possible, to develop an alternative economic system giving way to a social doctrine that essentially performs an ethical critique of existing systems.

Keywords: interdisciplinary, economics, theology, religion, Christianity, Catholic economic thought, Europe, Papal Encyclicals, Rerum Novarum

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