Theories of social justice
Social justice from religious traditions
Main article: Tikkun olam
In To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks states that social justice has a central place inJudaism. One of Judaism’s most distinctive and challenging ideas is its ethics of responsibility reflected in the concepts of simcha("gladness" or "joy"), tzedakah ("the religious obligation to perform charity and philanthropic acts"), chesed ("deeds of kindness"), andtikkun olam ("repairing the world"). Christianity
Main article: Catholic social teaching
Catholic social teaching consists of those aspects of Roman Catholic doctrine which relate to matters dealing with the collective aspect of humanity. A distinctive feature of the Catholic social doctrine is their concern for the poorest members of society. Two of the seven key areas of "Catholic social teaching" are pertinent to social justice: * Life and dignity of the human person: The foundational principle of all "Catholic Social Teaching" is the sanctity of all human life and the inherent dignity of every human person. Human life must be valued above all material possessions. * Preferential option for the poor and vulnerable: Catholics believe Jesus taught that on the Day of Judgement God will ask what each person did to help the poor and needy: "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me." The Catholic Church believes that through words, prayers and deeds one must show solidarity with, and compassion for, the poor. The moral test of any society is "how it treats its most vulnerable members. The poor have the most urgent moral claim on the conscience of the nation. People are called to look at public policy decisions in terms of how they affect the poor." Even before it was propounded in the Catholic social doctrine, social justice appeared regularly in the history of the Catholic Church: * The term "social justice" was adopted by the Jesuit Luigi Taparelli in the 1840s, based on the work of St. Thomas Aquinas. He wrote extensively in his journal Civiltà Cattolica, engaging both capitalist and socialist theories from a natural law viewpoint. His...