Elective Unit 2nd semester Monday evening                                  (Min. No. 8)

Inspired by the social encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, this unit investigates the global crises in economics, social inequality and climate change, and responses from Christian social traditions. It explores debates about sustainability in the light of global warming, and what this will mean for economic development, particularly for the alleviation of hunger and poverty through the Sustainable Development Goals. It will explore the relationships between religious belief, economics and the environment, and the role of values in these debates.

One Foundational Unit in Moral Theology or its equivalent


Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. Identify and analyse key factors in the debates over economics and/or sustainable development
  2. evaluate and critique the arguments examined in the unit
  3. demonstrate understanding of the moral principles involved in economic and social development
  4. analyse the moral dimensions of one or more economic or environmental issues and their consequences for human development
  5. critically evaluate major moral aspects in current economic and/or environmental issues
  6. evaluate the responsibilities of the churches in relation to current issues in economic policy and environmental sustainability.


2500 word essay (40%); 3500 word essay (60%)


Clarke, Matthew, ed. Handbook of Research on Development and Religion. Cheltenham UK: Edward Edgar, 2013.

Finn, Daniel K., ed. The True Wealth of Nations: Catholic Social Thought and Economic Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Forrester, Duncan B. Beliefs, Values and Policies: Conviction Politics in a Secular Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Francis (Pope), Laudato Si: On the Care of Our Common Home, 2015, various editions.

Pabst, Adrian. The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Pope Benedict XVI’s Social Encyclical and the Future of Political Economy. Cambridge UK: James Clarke & Co., 2011.

Sachs, Jeffrey. The Age of Sustainable Development. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.

______. The Price of Civilization: Economics and Ethics after the Fall. London: The Bodley Head, 2011.

Scribner, Todd. A Partisan Church: American Catholicism and the Rise of Neoconservative Catholics. Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2015.

Sniegocki, John. Catholic Social Teaching and Economic Globalization: The Quest for Alternatives. Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 2009.

Stiglitz, Joseph E. Freefall: America, Free Markets and the Sinking of the World Economy. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2010.

______. Making Globalization Work: The Next Steps to Global Justice. London: Allen Lane, 2006.

Todaro, Michael, and Stephen Smith. Economic Development. Harlow, England: Addison Wesley, 2015.

Tornielli, Andrea and Galeazzi, Giacomo. This Economy Kills: Pope Francis on Capitalism and Social Justice. Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2015.