On the relationship between Catholicism and Marxism

Kieran James*, Jenny Kwai-Sim Leung

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article contains a previously unpublished essay of personal reflections on the relationship between Catholicism and Marxism. The essay includes a critique of the Social Teaching encyclicals written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Pope John Paul II in the 1980s. We will see how John Paul II subtly incorporated some of the key ideas of the liberation theologians into the official body of Roman Catholic Social Teaching after 1986. This article should help younger researchers who might be interested in but are struggling with Catholic Social Teaching and/or Marxism in either theoretical and/or practical realms. This is especially important given that some Marxist authors within critical accounting are near or past retirement age and there is a real risk that the understandings of Marxist theory which they had will be lost to the discipline. We also look at some potential research topic areas which a developing country-based researcher could profitably explore using a Marxist perspective with a special focus on Fiji Islands, Indonesia, and Singapore.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-191
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Critical Accounting
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2018


  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • Critical accounting
  • Fiji Islands
  • John Paul II
  • Liberation theology
  • Marxian economics
  • Marxism
  • Roman Catholicism


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