Themes in Catholic Social Thought: Three Necessary Societies

Mar 26, 2021
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Russell HittingerLumen Christi Institute

Open to current graduate students. This master class will take place online on Zoom. Copies of the readings will be provided. Others interested in participating should contact us.

The modern social magisterium, which emerged during the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903), held that the dignity of human society exemplified in three necessary societies.  By nature or grace, human beings are domestic (marriage-family), political, and ecclesial animals.  Each has an origin in some kind of necessity, but the necessities are paths to human excellence and happiness.  In the first master class we will consider the political and documentary history of the teachings on the origin and interrelation of these societies.  In the second master class we will look carefully at the deeper ontology of social order.


Join us on April 23 for a follow-up master class to this topic on "Society as Sacrament."


Russell Hittinger is Senior Fellow at the Lumen Christi Institute, Research Professor Ordinarius in the School of Philosophy and Senior Fellow Institute for Human
Ecology at the Catholic University of America, and Professor Emeritus of Catholic Studies and Law at the University of Tulsa. He is also Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Hittinger is the author of many books, including A Critique of the New Natural Law Theory, The First Grace: Rediscovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age, Thomas Aquinas and the Rule of Law, and most recently Paper Wars: Catholic Social Doctrine and the Modern State (forthcoming).