Christian Charity and Public Action: What Social Justice Really Means
Project on Values and Capitalism
About This Event

"There is no such way to gain admittance, or give defence to strange and absurd doctrines, as to guard them round about with legions of obscure, doubtful, and undefined words."
- John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

The term social justice has been used Listen to Audio

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to describe everything from a Judeo-Christian duty to help the poor to a moral virtue that includes government redistribution of wealth. The term is generally used loosely, with the expectation that everyone will know what it means and support its goals whatever they may be. This lack of clarity has allowed the use of social justice as an instrument of ideological intimidation instead of a principle through which to best help the poor. A clear, cogent understanding of what social justice really means is a necessary starting point for a constructive discussion of how to meet the needs of the poor.

At this event, Anthony Bradley, associate professor of theology and ethics at the King’s College, described what social justice is-and what it is not. In particular, he discussed how historical Christian themes relate to marginalized members of society. He also explored the effects of various public-policy measures on the lives of the poor and identified how to create an appropriate environment for economic empowerment.


Anthony Bradley lectures at colleges, universities, business organizations, conferences, and churches throughout the United States and abroad. His writings on religious and cultural issues have been published in a variety of journals, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Detroit News, and World Magazine. Mr. Bradley is frequently called upon by members of the broadcast media for comment on current issues and has appeared on NPR, CNN Headline News, Fox News, and Court TV Radio, among others. He studies and writes on issues of race in America, hip-hop, youth culture, issues among African Americans, the American family, welfare, education, and modern international forms of social injustice, slavery, and oppression. His dissertation explores the intersection of black liberation theology and economics. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Bradley was assistant professor of systematic theology and ethics at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where he also directed the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute. He is currently associate professor of theology and ethics at the King's College in New York City. Mr. Bradley's first book, Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America, was published in February 2010 by Crossway Books.

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