Fundamentally Human: Creating a Response to Technological Unemployment Based on the Papal Encyclicals

Donna M Gamache-Griffiths, Salve Regina University


This project seeks to utilize the Catholic Church’s wisdom tradition to support a human-centered response to technological unemployment. The loss of jobs to various forms of technology is a serious concern, especially to those made redundant by technology who cannot find comparable employment. Although job loss to technology is not a new phenomenon, prior economic cycles were very different and cannot provide a solid foundation for planning future responses. The United States unemployment assistance program has been the same for almost fifty years, and the pace of technological change in society has far outraced it. What options exist to ameliorate job loss that can support the worker primarily as an individual worthy of concern and support? Approaching this problem with the fundamentals of the Papal Encyclicals and Catholic Social Teaching (CST) would allow all interested parties to view the situation from a truly human perspective. The Catholic values of human dignity, solidarity, and subsidiarity can serve as the foundation of new government support programs like universal basic income (UBI). Various UBI projects have shown the value of an approach that allows individuals increased agency over the assistance they receive as it is a more efficient and targeted way to help those in need while affirming their dignity. Acknowledging the potential benefits gained from this overlooked intersection of the secular and the spiritual will profoundly affect all people in this age of rapidly advancing technology.

Subject Area

Labor relations|Philosophy of religion|Economic theory|Religion

Recommended Citation

Gamache-Griffiths, Donna M, "Fundamentally Human: Creating a Response to Technological Unemployment Based on the Papal Encyclicals" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations. AAI28645030.

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