This year marks the 125th anniversary of two foundational texts for the formation of modern Christian social thought. In the spring of 1891, Pope Leo XIII promulgated the encyclical Rerum Novarum, on the “new things” of the modern world, particularly the relationship between capital and labor, following revolutions in politics, economics, and society. And in the fall of that year, the professor Abraham Kuyper, who was also a newspaper editor, politician, and would later become prime minister of the Netherlands, opened the first Christian Social Congress in Amsterdam with a speech: “The Social Question and the Christian Religion.” These two figures, one Roman Catholic and one Reformed, helped provide substantive conceptual and animating frameworks for Christian social engagement and study for the next century and beyond.
Jordan J. Ballor, "Editorial: The Pope, the Professor, and the Poor," Journal of Markets & Morality 19, no. 2 (Fall 2016): 221-224