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Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy

2 Volumes

Edited by Michael L. Coulter; Stephen M. Krason; Richard S. Myers and Joseph A. Varacalli


With more than 800 topics from over 300 contributors, Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy is a comprehensive introduction to the Catholic vision of society, social relations, and the human being. It combines theoretical work on important topics and scholarly disciplines (e.g., economics, moral theology, natural law, philosophy, psychology); social science perspectives on a variety of topics (e.g., alcoholism and drug abuse, forgiveness and mercy, globalization); and treatment of practical policy implications that flow from applying the Catholic religious, moral, and intellectual tradition to contemporary issues (e.g., abortion, assisted suicide, immigration policy, school choice, torture).

The book reflects a broad range of Catholic thought that is international in scope, but with an emphasis on the American situation. Its interdisciplinary approach offers insights from a variety of perspectives: theological, philosophical, historical, economical, sociological, political, psychological, and legal. The work will appeal to individuals who want a clear and accurate introduction to Catholic social thought and a Catholic-informed social science and social policy. One certainly need not be a devotee and advocate for Catholic social thinking to find this encyclopedia of good use as a handy reference tool.

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Scarecrow Press
Pages: 1192Size: 9 x 11 3/8
978-0-8108-5906-7 • Hardback • 2 vol set • July 2007 • $104.00 • (£70.00)
Michael L. Coulter, Ph.D. is Professor of Political Science and Humanities at Grove City College.

Stephen M. Krason, Ph.D., J.D. is Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and Director of the Political Science Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Richard S. Myers, J.D. is Professor of Law at Ave Maria School of Law.

Joseph A. Varacalli, Ph.D. is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Catholic Studies at Nassau Community College-S.U.N.Y.
Part 1 Because of its nature as an encyclopedia, the table of contents is not a useful tool in determining the contents of this book. Therefore, we have posted the index on the
This substantial work features over 800 signed, well-constructed, pointed articles.
Library Journal, 10/15/2007

Rich and articulate. ... an appropriate addition to libraries.
Booklist, 10/15/2007

[This collection] simply must be in every Catholic library—parish, high school, college, and university....The Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy should be warmly welcomed by Catholics and others who want to understand both what the Church teaches and how that teaching is being interpreted and applied.
First Things, December 2007, No. 178

The Encyclopedia is a masterful compendium of Catholic Social Teaching that will be helpful to any sociologist, psychologist, economist, theologian, cleric, religious, or layman looking for a good overview of Catholic teaching on a vast range of topics. I highly recommend it.
W Bradford Wilcox, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia and fellow of the Witherspoon Institute

The Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science and Social Policy is one of those tools that, once you use it, you simply can't be without. Handsomely produced, easy to read and filled with outstanding Catholic scholarship, this is a key resource not just for schools and libraries, but for every committed Catholic adult. If you want a briefing on natural law, the background on Catholic social doctrine, or a biography of major Catholic thinkers from the past like Christopher Dawson, the Encyclopedia is the place to turn. It's invaluable.
Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput O.F.M., Cap., Archbishop of Denver

A remarkable amount of research went into this much needed and long overdue project. For Catholic writers and defenders of the Catholic faith in the civic arena in a growing secular culture, Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science and Social Policy is a Godsend.
Raymond L. Flynn, Former Mayor of Boston and U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican

No such work of all its attributes has appeared in English, to the best knowledge of this reviewer, since the original Catholic Encyclopedia of some century ago.
The Wanderer, Vol. 140, No. 38 (September 20, 2007)

This two volume gem is a veritable edifice of Catholic scholarship; a must of anyone who really wants to understand the social teaching of the Church.
Joseph Pearce, Thomas More College; author of Beauteous Truth: Faith, Reason, Literature and Culture; Ignatius Insight

This invaluable reference tool is essential for those seeking a clear and comprehensive introduction to Catholic social thought, as well as a Catholic-informed social-science and social-policy perspective.
The Catholic Answer, January-February 2008

[A] reliable and useful Catholic handbook on American and global social issues theoretically and theologically constructed and practically applied.
American Reference Books Annual, March 2008

A very useful reference work....Very useful to any library.
Reference Reviews, November 2008

This two-volume encyclopedia, which covers more than 800 topics from over 300 contributors, is a 'comprehensive introduction to the Catholic vision of society, social relations, and the human being.' These volumes appeal to individuals seeking a 'clear and accurate introduction to Catholic social though and a Catholic-informed social science and social policy.' These invaluable reference volumes belong in every college and university library and in the home of every Catholic researcher.
Catalyst, March 2010

This is an impressive set.

Catholic Library World, March 2008

This first supplemental volume adds another 202 entries on events that have occurred during the intervening five years, and on matters that either were deferred from the original volumes or have become more important in public debates since then. Among the discussions are Pope Benedict XVI's recent encyclicals, a statement on ethical implications of biomedical research, and recent social science research that bears on Catholic teaching.
Book News, Inc.

As a refernce book, the Encyclopedia lives up to the editors' claim that is 'represents a distinctive contribution to academic scholarship'. . . . . It belongs in every library, not least because it "clearly presents a Catholic alternative in intellectural and moral public discourse.
Touchstone: A Journal Of Mere Christianity