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Catholic Social Teaching (Student Text): Learning and Living Justice Paperback – 25 Apr 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ave Maria Press; Student edition (25 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159471102X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594711022
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 1.5 x 27.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,042,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Noddy on 3 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a fantastic resource for breaking down the catholic teaching on social justice in a way that is positive, loving, inspiring and well argued - it would make a lot of sense to offer this as a course, as the americans do - there is a lot here worth discussing, with relevant case studies.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
25 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Catholic Social Brainwashing at its Finest 27 May 2011
By Mary Esterhammer-Fic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This was the required text for 11th grade theology at my son's school. I flipped through the book and was amazed at how biased and poorly written it was. Whoa, no wonder he thought the class was a crock!

Here's how author Michael Pennock starts his treatment of the War on Terror (featuring a photo of smoke billowing out of the doomed Twin Towers):

"...on September 11th, 2001...fanatical extremists hijacked jets and used them as weapons of destruction...."

He goes on for a page and a half, never ONCE mentioning al-Qaida, Osama bin Ladin, jihad, or that the "fanatical extremists" were, in fact, devout Muslims who believed they were on a religious mission for the greater glory of Islam. One would think that these would be pertinent facts. Imagine how silly it would be to describe the Holocaust without ever stating that the Nazi party specifically targeted Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and others for extermination. (Actually, the term "fanatical extremists" is redundant, but in any case people who are thus described do embrace an ideology outside what is considered civilized. Not citing that ideology is dishonest at best, and manipulative at worst.)

The chapters on sexism and prejudice also dance around the uncomfortable fact that specific cultures promote (and indeed, mandate) injustice. It is important to give examples to young people so that they may gain insight and, hopefully, recognize falling into racist/sexist/ageist/etc. thinking. But Pennock reinforces, instead of breaks down, stereotypes. Here's his list of sample victims that starts the chapter on prejudice:

*overweight middle-aged woman who can't find work
*blind man who, though brilliant, can't find work
*two young black kids beaten up by four white kids
*Puerto Ricans who move to an "upscale" neighborhood and are harrassed
*German kids playing Holocaust computer games
*underpaid female teacher/overpaid male teacher
*social studies teacher who references suicide bombers to a Muslim student

I have absolutely no doubt that the situations Pennock cites are real. But they're not balanced with anything. These are the same old tired cliches we have heard over and over for years. But reality is more complex. Right now, and in my neighborhood, this is also currently happening:

*lots of people, not just blind, overweight, middle-aged people, are out of work.
*white kids get "jumped" and beaten regularly by black kids from adjoining neighborhoods--who freely admit
to racially targeting whites. Are black kids jumped? Of course. But most of the time, around here, they're
jumped by other black kids. You can look at the stats, or talk to a cop. And yes, a black cop will tell you
the same thing.
*Muslim students (and parents) locally insist that mentioning the Holocaust is offensive to them, because
"it never happened". Muslim prayers have been promoted at some of our public schools...for ALL students,
not just Muslims. Muslim parents push for gender segregation in public schools and at public parks and
swimming pools.

My point is that Pennock and the rest of the Catholic textbook industry have some sort of weird vested interest in preventing any honest discusssion of the issues that underlie job discrimination, "hate crimes" (I don't really buy that designation), and profiling. The lesson that the student is expected to absorb is that certain groups are ALWAYS victims and deserve special treatment, and that other groups are NEVER victims and therefore should not complain or whine if they're treated unfairly...it's just those darn chickens coming home to roost (again)!

We should be teaching kids this: every person deserves to be treated fairly, regardless of language, race/ethnicity, gender, orientation, or religion. It is wrong to criticize an individual for any of the above-mentioned traits; however, it is NEVER wrong to criticize an ideology. (Making fun of the Cuban kid in class because of his accent? Bad. Pointing out the flaws in a communist government? Fair game.)And: people are accountable for their actions. Sometimes those people are members of "the privileged majority," and sometimes they are minorities.

It's too bad that my son, and his classmates, did not have the opportunity to benefit from this book. I have to honestly say that his circle of friends is extremely diverse, racially/ethnically, religiously, and in terms of gender/orientation. He does not think in those categories.

That's the goal we should all be moving toward, but to get there, we will have to engage in some candid, if uncomfortable, discussions. For instance: instead of living in a fantasy world where random "extremists" just, for no reason, decide to immolate thousands of innocent people, we will have to be brave enough to say, "These actions were cheered by many Muslims all over the world. Now, what can we do to embrace them as our brothers while helping them reject the elements of their religious ideology that foment violence?"

I hope there's an author out there who is up to this challenge. Unfortunately, it is not Mr. Pennock.
Five Stars 1 Sept. 2014
By Shirley L. Meier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Just what granddaughter needed for class and was in good condition
As expected. Timely shipping. School text book. 18 Nov. 2014
By MOM - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As expected. Timely shipping. School text book.
Five Stars 29 Aug. 2014
By Christy Lavin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Couldn't have asked for a better book!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Incredible! 9 April 2013
By Madame - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perfect tool for a High school Student. The lessons review bookmarks are very good. The details, level of teaching, excellent!
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