Title of the Article:
Catholic Social Teaching, Theology, and Sociology: Exploring a Common Ground”
Author: Vivencio Ballano
Name of Journal: Religions International Journal (MDPI)
Drawing on some secondary literature and using sociological perspectives, in this paper, I trace the fundamental conflict and differences between sociology and theology as academic disciplines and draw some implications on why the contributions of sociological inquiries and their empirical assessments of society and human behavior are seldom used in literature and learning materials on Catholic social teaching (CST)—a body of moral principles based on papal, conciliar, and other official Church documents on the Christian faith and social concerns. I argue that despite methodological and theoretical differences, sociology and CST’s moral theology can share a common ground in dealing with the social order: the moral theologizing of CST begins where sociologizing ends. Sociology is a necessary tool to reformulate CST’s Christian message to the constantly changing historical and social contexts and provide empirical illustrations to its moral teachings.