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Working Notes • Issue 79 Editorial

on Sunday, 11 December 2016. Posted in Current

December 2016

Issue 79 front cover

pdfEditorial

In February 2016, the Jesuit Secretariat for Social Justice and Ecology and for Higher Education in Rome published a Special Report on Justice in the Global Economy. The Report was compiled by an international group of Jesuits and lay colleagues in the fields of social science and economics, philosophy and theology. It understands itself as part of the thrust of the pontificate of Pope Francis with his insistence, particularly in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (2013), and his Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si’ (2015), on the need for action in the face of ongoing poverty, growing inequality, and severe environmental degradation: 

‘We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.’ (Laudato Si’, 2015, § 139)

This issue of Working Notes is a response to the Report, focusing specifically on two major themes: the changing nature of work and the implications for inequality and social justice, and the unattended fragility of our common home.

Decent Work: Implications for Equality and Social Justice

on Sunday, 11 December 2016. Posted in Poverty & Inequality, Economics, Current

James Wickham

pdfDecent Work: Implications for Equality and Social Justice

Introduction
The idea that any job is better than no job is increasingly debatable, and the assumptions that have guided employment policy for decades no longer hold.

There is not much point in wanting to return to a golden past of straightforwardly good jobs, perhaps in the 1960s and 1970s, because they never existed. However, while in many ways work has got better, there has been a crucial deterioration in other aspects of work. Firstly, the very types of jobs that are being created are now part of a process of growing inequality. Secondly, much employment is insecure and precarious, and this means that many of the reasons why employment was seen as desirable are simply not valid anymore.

Justice in the Global Economy: What It Means for Earth-Care

on Sunday, 11 December 2016. Posted in Environment, Economics, Current

Catherine Devitt

pdfJustice in the Global Economy: What It Means for Earth-Care

Introduction
The Report, Justice in the Global Economy, highlights the inter-relationship between environmental justice and economic justice. It points out that ‘the rate of extraction of natural resources cannot be sustained’ and warns that if consumption continues at the current pace ‘we face severe menaces to both ecological stability and human well-being’. It notes also that: ‘The harmful consequences of over-use and misuse of resources are ... unequally distributed’.1 

Justice in the Global Economy: A Theological Reflection

on Friday, 09 December 2016. Posted in Economics, Church , Current

Introduction
Justice in the Global Economy is a concise account of the crisis which humanity is currently facing: ‘We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental’ (Laudato Si’, § 139). Of particular interest is the recommendation that Jesuits and colleagues have direct engagement with poorer communities and, in particular, that we turn ‘our institutions into instruments for economic justice’.1 The latter is spelled out in terms of harnessing research resources and advancing knowledge in favour of poorer people, networking to focus on policy issues, lobbying in this direction, and realising the potential of our professional schools in faculty, students and alumni to bring about changes to the status quo.2

Reflections from an Ignatian Educational Perspective

on Thursday, 08 December 2016. Posted in Economics, Current

Brian Flannery

PdfIconReflections from an Ignatian Educational Perspective

Introduction
The Report, Justice in the Global Economy, is a call to action. Whilst it combines the clarity and scholarship of an academic paper, its underlying tone conveys urgency. The Report calls on all of us in Jesuit works to wake up to the realities that humankind is facing and asks that as individuals, organisations, and institutions we turn our attention and energy to addressing these global challenges immediately.

This study and the urgency of its message is clearly stimulated by various statements of Pope Francis who is quoted as calling on all Christians to fight against ‘an economy that kills’ and to address ‘the structural causes of inequality’.1 The Pope sees humankind as being at a pivotal point in history where, despite economic advancements, sizeable parts of the world’s population are excluded from economic prosperity, are socially isolated and live in poverty.