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Background

The Development of Christian Social Perspectives on Peace and Just War
Anne Grieves (completed as part of Masters level study in justice education)
The biblical theme of Peace emerges in a number of ways - peace within the individual and within the nation. Jesus advocated peace in his encounters with his disciples and the crowds who gathered to listen.

Presentation for use with staff on the evaluation and development of a school's justice education program.

Some challenges from the Catholic Social Justice Tradition
Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of Ireland

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Archbishop Martin of Dublin
Where are the principal points of contact and indeed the principal points of conflict between the Christian message and contemporary culture? Where should the Christian be engaging within the complex public square of our times in order to witness to the light of Christ in the most effective way?

At the start of Lent in this Year of Jubilee, the International Theological Commission of the Church released the document "Memory and Reconciliation", with the blessing of Pope John Paul II. This document sets out to apologise for those things that the Church has done wrong over the past 1000 years. It considers issues such as the Inquisition, the Crusades, the violence often associated with evangelisation, and the Catholic Church's treatment of Jews. The Vatican also encouraged local bishops' conferences to release their own particular statements of apology.

Teachers in Catholic schools sometimes face the challenge of justifying why it is that their Catholic school should be putting time and energy into a properly resourced justice education program. The following material considers some of the major Vatican sources on this question. Catholic Social Teaching Catholic schools educate for justice because justice is not a peripheral or dispensable issue. Justice is a core human value, and a foundational Christian concern.

An important background in the discussion of how to educate for justice is Latin American theology and educational theory. Liberation theology challenged Catholic social policy and ecclesial practice, and the insights of Paulo Freire and his co-workers questioned educational theory throughout Latin America and the world in general.

Unless we reappropriate our history intelligently and critically, we risk becoming captive to a pragmatic pastoral practice, which for all its strengths, may leave us paddling close to the familiar shore without taking the risks needed to meet new challenges.