|The Anglican Examiner, Copyright by Donn Mitchell, 2012
|The Church and Labor
|...and show us a
vision of a world
|Illuminating Religion and Public Affairs Around the World
Obama, Others Cite Frances Perkins
Legacy of Social Security in New Book
President Obama, Donn Mitchell, Jamie Galbraith, and others have
contributed to a volume of essays focusing on Frances Perkins and
her legacy of Social Security.
Perkins, a devout churchwoman,
maintained ties to four parishes and was
a lifelong associate of All Saints' Sisters
of the Poor. You can learn more about
To work is to pray.
To pray is to work.
|Finest Moment in
Book Tells Catholic Backstory of
1954 Movie, On the Waterfront
In the famous 1954 movie On the Waterfront, starring
Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint, the actor Karl Malden
delivers a rousing speech to restless dockworkers known as
"Christ in the Shapeup." Fordham University Professor
James T. Fisher has described it as one of the finest
moments in the representation of Catholic social justice
Fisher is the author of On the Irish Waterfront: The
Crusader, the Movie, and the Soul of the Port of New York.
In it, he tells the true story on which the movie was based.
The famous speech was actually delivered on the Jersey
City waterfront in 1948 by the Rev. John M. "Pete"
Corridan was a Jesuit priest attached to the Xavier Labor
School, located at the Church of St. Francis Xavier on
West 16th Street in Manhattan. Although the movie is set in
Hoboken, New Jersey, the actual events took place in the
vicinity of the Chelsea Piers on Manhattan's west side.
Fisher's book refutes the thesis that On the Waterfront was
a metaphor for anti-communism. In fact, it was based on a
true story about organized crime's attempts to undermine
the labor movement and the Jesuits' efforts to resist.
Yale Professor Examines
Biblical Influence on Public
Responsiblity for the Poor
In commemtimg on the new
work, Publishers Weekly
opined that, given the current
economic crisis and the low
esteem in which the financial
industry is held, perhaps
"storing up treasure in heaven"
by depositing wealth into the
hands of the poor is a less
volatile economic strategy that
offers greater long-term
security for all.
Yale Professor Gary Anderson, author of Sin: A History, has written a
new book of particular interest to those concerned about how
Judeo-Christian biblical values influence the role of the state in caring
for the vulnerable. In his new book, Charity: The Place of the Poor in
the Biblical Tradition, Anderson argues that the Greco-Roman empire
did not identify the poor as a priority of the gods. In fact, Roman
emperor Julian noted that charity was the defining marker of Christian
and Jewish identity, not pagan.
In explaining how the poor became such a central religious concept,
Anderson unpacks the book of Tobit and other biblical literature to
reveal a complex story of how service to the poor became the most
privileged way to serve God.
"Charity," he argues, "was construed as a loan to God, which was
then converted into a form of spiritual currency and stored in an
impregnable divine bank."