Two perspectives on Christian social engagement: Catholic Social Teaching and Relational Thinking

Five years ago a group of 30 senior Christian leaders from business, politics, the Church and civil society met in Caux, Switzerland, to explore the decline of personal and corporate responsibility across Europe and the intellectual and spiritual causes of this trend.  They went on to consider how an alternative culture of relational responsibility might be promoted.

Participants at this event came from Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox backgrounds, and during discussions several references were made to similarities between Relational Thinking and aspects of Catholic Social Teaching and the common good.  Consequently, two of the organising partners (Jubilee Centre and Sallux) decided to undertake further research, and to explore ways the two perspectives might complement each other in helping Christians to engage in the social, political and economic challenges which Europe currently faces.

This report is the fruit of that initiative.  Mathias Nebel and Paul Dembinski took the lead from the Catholic Social Teaching side, and Guy Brandon and Michael Schluter responded from the perspective of Relational Thinking.

The two papers that form this booklet are intended by the authors to be the first part of a conversation which they hope to develop further through a series of events during 2017 and beyond. The authors would welcome any reflections or comments on these two papers; please write to them via .

Given that the post-war political settlement in Europe is under mounting threat, this is a opportune time to look for fresh ideas rooted in Christian social teaching, so that the church can keep renewing her mandate to be salt that doesn’t lose its saltiness (Matthew 5:13).

This booklet is also available to purchase in hard copy here.