Creighton University Sociology and Anthropology Professor Roger Bergman’s recently released book on Catholic Social Learning: Educating the Faith That Does Justice, (Fordham University Press, 2011) examines the importance of Catholic social learning and teaching.
The collection of modern Catholic social doctrine from the popes and bishops is 600 pages, yet less than two pages are devoted to this topic. In his book, Bergman discusses what he has learned during 30 years as a faith-that-does-justice educator, benefitting from the best of current scholarship and historical authorities. He reflects on personal experience, the experience of Church leaders, lay activists and university students and the few words Catholic Social teaching itself has to say about teaching for justice.
“In this book, Bergman articulates his vast experience of doing and educating to the benefit of all of us. I cannot think of a single reader, experienced or inexperienced in the area of social justice, who will not be greatly enriched by reading his reflections and following his instructions in this book,” said Michael Lawler, Professor Emeritus of Catholic theology at Creighton.
Catholic Social Learning explores the foundations of this teaching, demonstrates its practical applications, and illuminates why and how it is fundamental to Catholic higher education. Part I identifies personal encounters with the poor and marginalized as key to stimulating a hunger and thirst for justice. Part II presents three applications of Catholic social learning: cross-cultural immersion as illustrated by Creighton University’s Semestre Dominicano program; community-based service learning; and the teachings of Dorothy Day, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Archbishop Oscar Romero. Part III then explains how teaching for justice applies to the traditional liberal educational mission of a Catholic university, and how it can be put into action.
The book is available at Amazon.com.