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John Paul IIs Challenges to the Social Sciences

Mary Ann Glendon


Time and again, by word and example, John Paul II urged social scientists to reexamine some of their most fundamental presuppositions. He asked them to be mindful of the unity that underlies their fragmented disciplines, to question their assumptions about personhood, and to be not afraid in the quest for truth. The Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, the think tank created by the late Holy Father in 1994 as a sister academy to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, has made considerable progress in four main areas where the principles of Catholic social thought have to be applied to a host of new things: the world of work, the promise and perils of globalization, the dilemmas of democracy, and the relations among generations. The principle of subsidiarity along with sensitivity to the concept of human ecology, the social systems that undergird and support human flourishing, have provided some tentative but promising avenues for the future of the social sciences.

Mary Ann Glendon, "John Paul II's Challenges to the Social Sciences," Journal of Markets & Morality 10, no. 2 (Fall 2007): 263-277

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