Seton Hall University

Micah Library for Business and Economics

Catholic Social Teaching

Statement of Purpose 

The Second Vatican Council (1962 – 1965) redefined and broadly expanded the meaning of Catholic identity in the modern era. Rather than perceiving this identity as a matter of strictures and prohibitions, the Council insisted that Catholic identity must be grounded in a series of affirmations, not negations, positive sensitivities and principles that illuminate and support the deepest aspirations of humanity.

The tradition of Catholic Social Thought on human work, the environment, the global economy, politics, world order and peace is grounded in certain bed rock principles. At the forefront of this tradition is the radical primacy of human dignity and human solidarity. These and related social principles do not belong to Catholicism exclusively. They are shared by a wide spectrum of men and women of good will.  

Affirming these principles as intrinsic to their identity, Catholic universities and colleges stand in unity with those who seek to introduce concrete forms of justice into the fabric of our society. 

This sacred effort takes many forms. It is the everyday reality of providing homeless and hungry people decent shelter and needed help, of giving pregnant women and their unborn children life-giving alternatives, of advocating for the rights of workers, of offering refugees and immigrants welcome, of negating discrimination on the basis of race, gender or class. It is empowering and helping poor and vulnerable people realize their dignity in inner cities, rural communities and in lands far from America’s shores. It is the everyday commitment and tradition of countless people, programs, local networks and national structures that embodies a tradition of caring, service, effective advocacy and creative action.

To advance the work of social justice, the Center of Catholic Studies and the Micah Institute for Business and Economics have established this website to make available to university faculty and students resources and information about the Catholic social heritage. It is our hope that the materials provided in this corner will expand the minds and inspire the hearts of everyone within the Seton Hall community and beyond. Finally, we hope that the resources provided here may serve as a call to action on behalf of the weakest and most vulnerable in our society. We can think of no better way to express the Catholic identity of our beloved university than to do justice.