George G. Higgins and the Quest for Worker Justice: The Evolution of Catholic Social Thought in America

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9780742532083: George G. Higgins and the Quest for Worker Justice: The Evolution of Catholic Social Thought in America

George G. Higgins and the Quest for Worker Justice: The Evolution of Catholic Social Thought in America is a comprehensive and fascinating examination of the Catholic Church's involvement in social issues from the late 19th to the end of the 20th century through the lens of the life, career, writings, and ministry of the legendary Monsignor Higgins.

Inspiring to both the clergy and laity, Msgr. George G. Higgins put a human face on the institutional commitments of the Church, advocated the role of the laity, remained loyal to the vision of the Second Vatican Council, and took the side of the working poor in his movement with organized labor. Much more than a limited biography, author John O' Brien offers a sweeping history of the "social questions" facing America over the past 100 years, the thought behind one of the leading figures in the worker justice movement, and a moving application of the rich heritage of Catholic Social Thought.

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About the Author:

John J. O'Brien is a Passionist priest at the Calvary Retreat Center in Shrewsbury, Massachusettes. He is a well-known liturgist, teacher, and preacher.

Review:

This book is a masterpiece and passionate gift. O'Brien uses Monsignor Higgins's career and compilation of his witty and polished prose to produce an encyclopedia of how Catholic Social Teaching challenged the jurisdiction of American businesses over working conditions, the meaning of work and the status of the worker. Here, we have a book to remind us of how the Church provides us with profound guidance regarding the foundational source of justice―justice for workers. (Teresa Ghilardhucci, associate professor of economics and director of the Higgins Labor Research Center, University of Notre Dame)

A significant synthesis of the writings and thought of George G. Higgins, who served as an important link between the American Labor movement and the Catholic Church for more than fifty years...this is a helpful book which assembles much important information for both the beginning and serious student of these times and movements. (Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly)

... John O'Brian has presented a brilliant synthesis of Catholic Social thought as it applies to the labor movement. (William J. Hutchinson, Saint Louis Univeristy Journal Of Religion and Spirituality In Social Work)

[O'Brien] gives us a good introduction to Higgins and his importance in American Catholicism, situates him within his historical context, sympathetically interprets his multiple roles within the American Catholic Church, and provides future researchers with useful and needed bibliographies and a helpful index. I recommend the book not only for researchers but for a general readership. (Theological Studies)

Monsignor Higgins stands solidly in the tradition of Cardinal Gibbons, Peter Dietz, John A. Ryan, and other outstanding priest-friends of labor, and Father O'Brien has produced a fine summary of his social justice views and his contributions to the American Church and to American public life. (The Catholic Historical Review)

John O'Brien has written a remarkable synthesis of the twentieth century history of American labor and the Catholic labor movement, the history of Catholic social teaching, the biography of a major Catholic organic intellectual, and analysis of his application of Catholic social ethics to crises during the heart of twentieth century America. This pivotal work on Catholic social thought in twentieth century America will be a required text in a variety of university courses. (Roger Haight, S. J., America House, New York)

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