Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The True Wealth of NationsCatholic Social Thought and Economic Life$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Daniel Finn

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199739813

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739813.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 November 2020

The Unjust Contract

The Unjust Contract

A Moral Evaluation

(p.143) 6 The Unjust Contract
The True Wealth of Nations

Daniel K. Finn (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a moral evaluation of unjust contracts. The moral rejection of unjust contracts is ancient. The biblical condemnation of the practice found its most basic argument in the protection of the poor. There was little need to worry about the well-to-do entering into agreements that abused them. It was, rather, the poor and unfortunate who, under the strictures of unhappy circumstance, might agree to a loan with unfair conditions or terms of employment that left a family without enough to survive. The later history of Christian evaluations of contracts preserves this concern for the poor but expands it to articulate four distinct arguments in the condemnation of the unjust contract: the biblically based concern for the poor, the proper relation between human law and God's law, the character of justice, and the violation of freedom that unjust contracts entail. The chapter considers each of these and then focuses on an extension of one of them—the notion of justice—appropriate for Catholic social thought today.

Keywords:   Catholic social thought, unjust contract, moral rejection, justice, Christian evaluations

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .