Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (College of Philosophy and Theology)

Schools and Centres

Philosophy and Theology

First Supervisor

Renee Kohler-Ryan

Second Supervisor

Iain Benson


Along with Deus Caritas Est and Spe Salvi, Pope Benedict XVI in Caritas in Veritate provides a Christological response to the suffering in the world. In Paragraph 5 of CIV is a particular call to Christians to meet their responsibilities to love God and their neighbour in the broader human community. CIV 5 embeds the task for each Christian to accept the logic of truth of God's Love for their lives and build a relationship with God through the Person of Jesus Christ. Accepting this truth generates responses where people in self-gift love the other and constitute instruments of grace for relationships of service and love. CIV 5's call for networks of charity is for communities of faith to generate social entities offering a service of love for the other.

The dissertation explicates and develops a meaning of CIV 5 as the call to build communities of Christian faith through the dynamic of charity. The dissertation begins with a brief discussion on the Shema, a word that summarises the double love commandment, and Benedict’s approach to the ecclesial realities (or movements) as a prelude to analysing CIV 5's context and the relevant literature. The study of CIV 5 is then in four parts through the themes of relationality, self-gift, and love. The first part discusses the relationality of the human person who authors the social world; the second examines how persons who, through self-gift as a gift for the other, sustain community; the third part develops the idea of communities living in the love of Christ creating a dynamic of charity; and lastly examines how this dynamic grounds the Church's Social Teaching for a renewed social order.

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Included in

Religion Commons