New book responds to Abbott social justice slur

A collection of 18 essays published this week counters Tony Abbott's recent dismissal of social justice as "socialism masquerading as Justice".

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Secretary Archbishop Philip Wilson has written the foreword, and chapters are written by a range of writers including Cardinal George Pell's private secretary Dr Michael Casey, and Jesuit theologian Fr Andrew Hamilton.

The book, which is titled Life to the Full: Rights and Social Justice in Australia, is published by Connor Court Publishing. It is edited by University of NSW Mathematics lecturer Dr James Franklin.

The media release accompanying the book says there is not much sign of `examination' in Mr Abbott's comments, nor in most of the other commentary around the slogan `social justice'. The book sets out to remedy this.

Traditional Christian social justice theory is explained as being neither socialist nor free-market, neither na´ve nor utopian.

The full range of human rights are surveyed, from the right to life to the rights to education, to association and to a living wage.

Dr Franklin writes in the introduction that the regulated and generally stable capitalism of the last few decades has delivered prosperity more reliably than the unrestrained capitalism of the Depression.

"With Workchoices threatening rights to collective bargaining, it is especially important to recall the centerpiece of Christian social theory that separates it from socialism," he says.

Social justice, the source of our prosperity (Connor Court Publishing 13/11/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Connor Court Publishing
Abbott lashes Catholic "fellow travellers" (CathNews, 12/07/07)
Catholic voters turn to Rudd (CathNews, 11/7/07)
WorkChoices unbalanced, Catholic employment body says (CathNews, 2/7/07)
Govt "canonised" economy, Manning claims (CathNews, 27/4/07)
Abbott claims DLP heritage for Liberal Party (CathNews, 30/1/07)
Bishop Manning named a "Champion of the West" (CathNews, 6/4/06)

14 Nov 2007