What is the Catholic Concept of Human Development?

What is the Catholic Concept of Human Development?

I’m reading Caritas in Veritate (thanks Rach620) looking for insight into the Catholic concept of Human Development as a Catholic counterpart to what secularists call “social progress” or even “economic progress”.

Now, obviously, a Catholic source (i.e. the Pope) is going to have non-secular views on the matter, and rightly so. But my interest at this time is focused on the community elements, the idea of humanity as a whole advancing over generations toward some ideal as opposed to individual human development over a single lifetime.

The questions I’m pondering are these:

  1. What exactly is the concept of Human Development of humanity as a whole (as opposed to individual salvation)?

  2. What is the history and tradition of the Catholic concept of Human Development.

  3. How do we balance the goals of global development against those of individual or local community development?

  4. What is the proper relationship between Catholicism, on the one hand, and science and economics, on the other?

Unfortunately, while Caritas in Veritate does seem to touch on these subjects tangentially, it really doesn’t address them square on, at least not to my satisfaction. It could be that I’m not reading the document right, or that there is some other document(s) that better address the questions, or that this is all just implied everywhere but directly addressed nowhere.

Resources:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caritas_in_Veritate

zenit.org/article-26387?l=english

askacatholic.com/_Resources/document_directory/POPE_BENEDICT_XVI_Caritas-In-Veritate.pdf

usccb.org/jphd/caritasinveritate/

acton.org/issues/caritas_in_veritate.php

(What got me thinking on this tangent was The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success by Rodney Stark. which I discussed here and here.)

The Catechism address some of this in the following paragraph references:

PART THREE - LIFE IN CHRIST
1877-1948 CHAPTER TWO: THE HUMAN COMMUNITY
1878-1896 ARTICLE 1: THE PERSON AND SOCIETY
1878-1885 I. The Communal Character of the Human Vocation
1886-1889 II. Conversion and Society
1890-1896 IN BRIEF
1897-1927 ARTICLE 2: PARTICIPATION IN SOCIAL LIFE
1897-1904 I. Authority
1905-1912 II. The Common Good
1913-1917 III. Responsibility and Participation
1918-1927 IN BRIEF
1928-1948 ARTICLE 3: SOCIAL JUSTICE
1929-1933 I. Respect for the Human Person
1934-1938 II. Equality and Differences among Men
1939-1942 III. Human Solidarity

vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm

From these paragraphs one can examine the footnotes to see some of the referenced encyclicals, bulls and saintly writings.

Here is a link to the key of abbreviations for the various writings:
vatican.va/archive/catechism/abbrev.htm

James

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