Catholic Social Ethics: The Antidote to Ideology

Dr. Matthew Petrusek · Release Date: May 23, 2022

Today, much of our social and political dialogue is dominated by ideological thinking. But the many ideologies that are now considered mainstream—such as liberalism, fascism, socialism, and more—all have one thing in common: a lack of transcendence. In seeking to achieve the perfect society apart from God, they end up creating societies that lack true justice, solidarity, and pursuit of the good.

Thankfully, there is an alternative—not an alternative ideology, but an antidote to ideological thinking itself. In this course, Dr. Matthew Petrusek contrasts various ideologies with Catholic social ethics, demonstrating how only a Catholic worldview can shape our society into one where both the individual and the community flourish. Navigating various ideological approaches to relevant issues—including free speech, human dignity, and the perfection of society—Petrusek proposes Catholic solutions that avoid common ideological pitfalls while attaining real social progress. With an emphasis on grace and an eye toward heaven, these lessons offer a path forward that is as hopeful as it is realistic.

About Instructor

Dr. Matthew Petrusek

Dr. Matthew Petrusek received an MA (Yale University) and PhD (University of Chicago) in religious ethics and is currently associate professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He specializes in Christian ethics, though lectures broadly, in English and Spanish, on philosophy, theology, and the Catholic intellectual tradition. In addition to serving as a WOFI fellow, he is host of the show Reasons to Believe at WordNet TV, co-author of Two Rules for Life: A Christian Response to Jordan Peterson (under contract with WOFI Press), co-editor of Value and Vulnerability: Contemporary Interfaith Dialogue on Human Dignity (University of Notre Dame Press), and has published in numerous academic journals. He lives with his wife and children in the Inland Empire in Southern California.

2 Courses

Not Enrolled


  • 7 Lessons
  • Course Certificate
  • Course Discussion Forum