What is justice? Who has the authority to decide on what is just among competing interpretations? These questions have received numerous answers, from Plato through to the Catholic Social Teaching tradition and the variety of national legal justice systems. This unit will seek to make sense of these matters in conjunction with themes of retributive and restorative justice, local and global justice, and individual rights and social justice. Crucial engagements will take place with theological themes of grace, hospitality, mercy, and sacrifice.

Unit code: AP3341Y

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Philosophy

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Evaluate major strands within political philosophy, political theology, moral theology, and the Catholic Social Teaching tradition


Demonstrate critical distinctions between various approaches to justice


Analyse the shifts in theorising about justice and the practice of justice


Appraise the theological and philosophical implications of the various theoretical and practical approaches to justice

Unit sequence

18 credit points in AP / CT / DT


Multi-modal blended asynchronous and synchronous lectures and tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Compendium on the Social Teaching of the Church. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Rome: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2004.
  • Gerard Bradley and E. Christian Brugger (eds.). Catholic Social Teaching: A Volume of Scholarly Essays. Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • Charles Curran. Catholic Social Teaching. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2002.
  • Jenny Daggers and Kim Grace Ji-Sun (eds.). Christian Doctrines for Global Gender Justice. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
  • Jacques Derrida, Politics of Friendship. trans. George Collins. London & New York: Verso, 1997.
  • Nancy Fraser. Scales of Justice: Reimagining Political Space in a Globalizing World. New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.
  • Alasdair MacIntyre. Whose Justice, Which Rationality? Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1988.
  • Martha Craven Nussbaum. Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007.
  • John Rawls. Justice as Fairness: A Restatement. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003.
  • Michael J. Sandel. Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1

Essay 1750 35.0
Essay 3250 65.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 20 Jun, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-06-20 14:57:54 +1000