This course traces the development of Catholic Social Teaching and action from an historical and theological perspective. A Christian concept of justice will be explored within Biblical and theological contexts. Cultural developments that have impacted, and those that continue to influence, social thought, teaching and action within the Church will be discussed. The primary texts for the course are the social documents of the Church beginning with the Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum (1891) and continuing to the present day. Students will become familiar with the content of such documents and they will be encouraged to analyse the theological and social foundations upon which the documents have been developed. Key principles of Catholic Social Teaching will be introduced. The course will also explore the Christian call to justice and ways in which the social teachings of the Church can be integrated into personal spirituality and ministry. To facilitate such integration, examples will be highlighted from the lives of social activists within the Church.