Donal DORR, Option for the Poor and the Earth: Catholic Social Teaching. New York: Orbis Books, 2012. Pp. 522. $38.00 pb. ISBN 978-1- 57075-974-1. Reviewed by Peter BEISHEIM, Stonehill College, North Easton, MA 02357

            This updated and revised edition of Dorr’s original text, Option for the Poor: A Hundred Years of Vatican Social Teaching has not lost any of the Dorr’s insightful analysis and commentary on Papal social teachings from Leo XIII to Benedict XVI. The text is more “user-friendly” by the addition of a Summary, Questions for Review, Questions for Reflection, and Issues for Further Study at the end of each chapter. The bibliography is extremely helpful and organized by separating the resources into primary and secondary categories.

Dorr has added chapters exploring women and justice, ecology, International Financial systems, as well as a critical examination of Pope Benedict’s Deus caritas est and Caritas in veritate. His careful parsing of Benedict’s encyclicals is worth the price of the text. He very carefully and studiously makes clearer Benedict’s ideas on charity and justice. Dorr adds a chapter exploring and evaluating the reactions and assessments in the aftermath of Benedict’s encyclicals.

The true worth of the text is Dorr’s extensive knowledge of Catholic Social Teaching but his grasp of the contextual nuances in applying the values to specific economic, political and societal issues. This is a text that should be within easy reach of every person engaged, at whatever level, in the study of Catholic Social Thought.