In 1998 the United States Catholic Bishops challenged Catholic schools at all levels to “integrate Catholic social teaching into the mainstream all Catholic educational institutions and programs.” (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and
Directions, 1998). In its call to action, the bishops urge that Catholic schools “ensure that every Catholic understands how the Gospel and church teaching call us to choose life, to serve the least among us, to hunger and thirst for justice, and to be peacemakers.”
While the document does not directly address Catholic law schools, it is clear that the legal academy plays a unique and vital role in imparting the Church’s social justice tradition. Law teachers, law students, and lawyers are, by the very nature of their profession, inextricably involved in the creation and implementation of public policy. The study and teaching of law provides an ideal context in which to reflect on the lawyer’s role in “breaking down the barriers that obstruct God’s kingdom of justice and peace.” The years of law school study provide the student with a special opportunity to, not only learn the law, but to discover how the law is enriched by an understanding of the Church’s social message. The role and responsibility of the law teacher takes on an added urgency in the light of the Bishops’ words that the “sharing of our social tradition is a defining measure of Catholic education and formation.”
This bibliography served as the Kathryn J. DuFour Law Library's response to the bishop’s call for action. It sought to identify and describe Catholic resources useful for law teachers, law students and practicing attorneys who are seeking to integrate their faith commitment into a life in the law. The bibliography included print books, chapters and articles, as well as internet sites and electronic documents. Three editions of the bibliography were published over a 10 year period by the staff of the Kathryn J. DuFour Law Library; the first in 2002, followed by the second edition in 2004, and a final, online edition in 2012.