Theme 1: What keeps us apart?

Outcomes
Students will

  • identify and analyze examples of prejudice
  • suggest ways that they could respond with compassion to situations of injustice
  • demonstrate an understanding of how responding with com- passion leads to peace

Key Concepts

  • Christian justice is rooted in love. It is based not only on fairness, but also on mercy and compassion.
  • Compassion is the ability to feel and act with and for another. It is not pity.
  • Respect for the human person considers the other “another self.” It presupposes respect for the fundamental rights that flow from the dignity intrinsic to the person. (CCC #1944)
  • Peace is the fruit of justice.
  • “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5.6).

Theme 2: How much is enough?

Outcomes
Students will

  • identify social justice issues
  • perceive the challenge of God’s preferential option for the poor
  • use the preferential option for the poor as the criterion for analyzing social injustice issues
  • acknowledge that the love of God for all people demands justice

Key Concepts

  • “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5.10).
  • “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6.20).
  • As Christians we are called to see that a wide variety of issues are issues of justice: for example, poverty, unjust labour practices, immigration, refugees, ecology, unemployment, consumer justice, land use.
  • Christian justice challenges individuals and society to work for the kingdom of God. Promoting justice is not an option for Christians – it is an integral part of our mission.
  • The Church informs our judgment of social justice issues.
  • Christians are called to respond to God’s love by making changes to address injustice in the world.
  • The preferential option for the poor colours the Christian understanding of justice.

Theme 3: How can the earth survive?

Outcomes
Students will

  • define justice in terms of respect for the integrity and balance of creation
  • explain how justice is a demand of natural law
  • evaluate their lifestyle in terms of its ecological impact
  • identify the correlation between their relationship with God and their relationship with others and the earth

Key Concepts

  • “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5.5).
  • Justice is both a demand and an outcome of natural law.
  • The earth is ultimately a common heritage, the fruits of which are for the benefit of all.
  • Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyle.
  • Contact with nature has deep restorative power that can impart peace and serenity.
  • The commitment of believers to a healthy environment for everyone stems directly from their belief in God the creator.
  • Humanity’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of one’s neighbour, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation (CCC # 2415).
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