Catholic Social Teaching is rooted in the theological and philosophical traditions of the Catholic Church with regard to the human person. In theological terms, Catholicism understands the human person as a creature of God, made in his image and likeness. It also believes that human beings, as fallen creatures, are in need of redemption but its message of hope is that Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, became fully man and brought about our redemption through his Passion, Death and Resurrection. This great central set of theological truths have led Christians to believe that every single human being, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death, is of absolute value and dignity and must be accorded the greatest respect. Christian philosophy is the attempt to use our human reason to explore these theological truths - fides quarens intellectum (Anselm of Canterbury). There have been many philosophical traditions within Catholicism including Augustinian neo-platonism and Aristotelian-Thomistic scholastic.
Today, theologians draw on philosophical insights from more contemporary philosophisiing, for example, virtue ethics. This research group wishes to engage with these developments and apply them to contemporary issues in politics, society, economics and scientific applications.