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Modern Christian Social Thought



In recognition of a number of significant anniversaries occurring this year, the Journal of Markets & Morality invited submissions for this special theme issue, “Modern Christian Social Thought.” The year 2011 marks the 120th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, the encyclical from Leo XIII in 1891 that inaugurated the subsequent social encyclical tradition. This year also marks the twentieth anniversary of John Paul II’s encyclical Centesimus Annus, which was promulgated at the centenary of Rerum Novarum. In the American context, twenty-five years have passed since the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued their pastoral letter, “Economic Justice for All.” In addition, this year is also the 120th anniversary of the First Social Congress in Amsterdam, which has become well known as a representative of the trend of European social congresses in the last half of the nineteenth and early decades of the twentieth centuries. Abraham Kuyper, the noted Dutch theologian and statesmen, gave the opening address at this First Social Congress, a speech that set the tone for subsequent Protestant and Reformed approaches to the “social question” in light of Christian ethical reflection.

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