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What Is Social Justice?

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What Is Social Justice?

Written by William L. Droel

Paperback -- 60 pages -- 5.5 x 7 -- ACTA Publications -- April 2011

Words do, indeed, matter. Especially when the words are social justice, one of the most misunderstood, maligned, and difficult terms in the lexicon of both religious and secular life. In this little booklet, Bill Droel tries to put some flesh on the bones of what we actually mean by social justice and how and when we actually exercise it. He distinguishes social justice from charity, as well as from distributive justice and commutative justice. His chapters include:

  • Social Justice as a Virtue

  • Insiders and Outsiders

  • Organizing for Social Justice

  • Traits of the Virtue

"What we know for sure is that love unattached to justice results in sentimentality and thus deprives its beneficiaries of freedom. Yet justice unattached to love results in legalism and paternalism and leaves its participants without mercy. This contrast is helpful in our quest to understand: What is social justice? The contrast suggests that the term social justice, though frequently used as a catch-all term for doing good, is actually a unique kind of activity."

—from the Introduction

William L. Droel


William L. Droel is a pastoral association at Sacred Heart Church in Palos Hills, Illinois, an instructor at Loyola University and Moraine Valley Community College. He is the editor of the INITIATIVES newsletter of the National Center for the Laity and the author of several books, including Finding My Way in a Grace-Filled World and Pope John Paul II's Gospel of Work.

Format: Booklet
Product code: AP1059
Dimensions: 5" x 7½"
Length: 60 pages
ACTA Publications
ISBN: 9780879464644
Written by William L. Droel