Throughout history, but particularly in the last century or so, the Catholic Church has developed a formal body of teaching on economics and political matters. Other Christian faiths have absorbed much of that work, as have non-Christians, and thus the body of Catholic Social Teaching has often been influential in the public policy arena. Here, Philip Booth talks about a recent book of his on this topic Catholic Social Teaching and the Market Economy . The volume, taking account of recent developments in both political economy and Catholic Social Teaching, examines the extent to which that teaching can be used to justify the free market, or alternative forms of political and economic organisation, in areas such as taxation, welfare, foreign aid, the just wage and labour markets and business. It also critically examines the general case for an interventionist state in the economic sphere, as well as the importance of the development of responsible culture, underpinned by sound education, in a free society. The book is relevant to all Christians, and others, who take an ethical approach to the analysis of public policy issues.
23 May 2007