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Issues » 2014/4 - Social Justice »

Gerhard Kruip

Social Justice Facing New Challenges – Considerations from Social-ethical Perspective


The Christian tradition, newly emphasized by Pope Francis, focusses on “the absolute priority of ‘going forth from ourselves towards our brothers and sisters’” (EG 179) which certainly implies an “orthopraxis” of justice. The article analyzes the use of the term “social justice” in the Catholic Social Teaching from Rerum novarum to Evangelii gaudium and gives an overview of the most important challenges for the welfare state today. It offers a theory of justice by different stages, beginning with the necessity to give everyone an income on a sociocultural subsistence level, passing through contributive justice and equality of opportunities, rejecting the idea of adequate pay and referring to John Rawls difference principle which should also be applied to global justice.


social justice, social teaching of the Catholic Church, global justice, welfare state, sociocultural subsistence level, contributive justice, equality of opportunities, difference principle

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