“The Mass is ended. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” There is a whole world caught up in the exhortation we hear every Sunday at the closing of the Eucharist. Volumes have been written on what it means to live a Christian life, and each generation has to understand anew what this means.
While God’s laws for living a good life may be universal and timeless, each epoch in history poses new challenges for understanding their application. In our own time, we struggle with the etiquette of communication in a digital age, when the internet can render us anonymous and place all of the world’s temptations at our fingertips. We ponder how to deal ethically in a global world, where individual local decisions can have an impact on someone living in poverty in the Third World. As an example, we need look no further than the recent collapse of a sweatshop in Bangladesh that manufactured cheap clothing for us here in North America. The personal is indeed political.
Questions about not simply acting ethically, but being ethical are the subject of our latest publication, The Ethical Being: A Catholic Guide to Contemporary Issues. In this book, Scott Kline, an associate professor of Religious Studies at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario, explores the global landscape to help us understand what it means to live rightly among our fellow humans and at peace with creation at this point in history.
Kline uses the prism of Catholic social teaching to explore a number of issues with which we all struggle: environmental degradation, economic justice, the right to life from cradle to grave, human rights and justice for those who are different. In doing so, he refuses to tell us what to think. Rather, he walks with us as we explore how to make ethical decisions using Catholic social teaching as our guide.
Kline writes with an easy informality and occasional humour to make what could be extremely dry material into an interesting and compelling discussion. This book could be equally valuable to a high-school philosophy course, a first-year university course, a parish discussion group, or for individual enlightenment.
Whatever you decide to read this summer, we at Novalis wish you peace, good health and all God’s blessings.