The encyclical, Rerum Novarum, issued by Pope Leo XIII in 1891 was interpreted by Henry George as a criticism of the views he had expressed in Progress and Poverty, 1879, and other writings. Later in 1891 George published The Condition of Labor, a critical response to Rerum Novarum. It has been generally thought that the two sets of ideas are irreconcilable, and that a united policy for an equitable and efficient sharing of Earth’s natural resources is impossible. However, a re-assessment of the ideas of Leo and George suggests that their differences were not entirely opposed, and that some basic aspects are capable of rapprochement.

About the Author

John Pullen, B.Ec. (Sydney), Dip.Ed. (Sydney), Licence en philosophie scolastique (Institut Catholique, Paris), M.A. (Liverpool, England), Ph.D. (Newcastle, New South Wales), lectured on economics at the University of New England (New South Wales) for 30 years, principally in the areas of History of Economic Thought and Urban Economics. Specialist current research interests are Thomas Robert Malthus, and Henry George.