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The Canadian Social Economy and Values: Insights from Bernard Lonergan's Theological Ethics [article]

Morag McAleese, University, My, University, My
This thesis project endeavours to meet the calls from scholars and theologians for theoretical foundations and theological engagement with the Canadian social economy. As introduced in Chapter 1, drawing on the work of Canadian philosopher-theologian, Bernard J. F. Lonergan S.J., I address the ambiguous, and therefore ultimately inadequate, understanding of values that is prevalent within both the practice of and the scholarly literature about what is now termed the "new" social economy in
more » ... ial economy in Canada. My hypothesis is that Lonergan's theological ethics, specifically his threefold structure of the human good and his scale of values supplemented by his cognitional theory, provide explanatory resources to clarify and add precision to the definition of values, how they are created, and how they interrelate within social economy practice. Lonergan's resources help overcome the predominant use of a relativist "bag of values" approach found in practice and the literature, by explaining how value can be understood as an intelligible structure. As the goals of the social economy are aligned with the Christian mission to care for the poor, the community, and the public good, these resources will also provide an explanatory understanding of how religious values can animate and motivate Christian engagement in social economy activities. To address the question of values, I use a dialectic methodology to establish a conversation between the research conducted by the Canadian Social Economy Research Partnership (and other cognate studies), and Lonergan's theological ethics. In contrast to social economy scholars who tend to use case studies as both methodology and genre, I integrate a case study into this thesis for illustration purposes only. In Chapter 2, I present an overview of the Canadian social economy with a discussion of values. I point out the important differentiation made within the literature between standard neoclassical economics and social economy theory, according to which the inclusion of values helps to both def [...]
doi:10.20381/ruor-21865 fatcat:5wso3k634navbgee5fhf7l53l4