The ‘common good’ spirituality of Louis-Joseph Lebret and his influence in the Constitution and development thinking in Brazil

Alex Villas Boas, André Folloni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article presents how the Dominican friar Louis-Joseph Lebret had influence in Brazilian social thought and development policies throughout the country, influencing even a pro-democracy constitutionalist movement in the 1980s. His spirituality of the common good influenced the Brazilian Catholic Action movement, the emergence of various other social movements and the basic ecclesial communities (CEBs). Further, by offering new analytical tools and forming research groups focused on social impact and social development Lebret influenced an emerging social thinking that produced empirical research for human development on various subjects. This was through his Economy and Humanism movement that Lebret brought to Brazil in the 1940s and through the creation of SAGMACS (Association for Graphic and Mechanic-Graphic Analysis Applied to Social Complexes). The combination of technical and empirical knowledge about human development with a mystique of the common good linked to the Catholic Action movement was inspiring for the Catholic intellectuals who joined Lebret's group and later became important political figures in Brazil. Lebret brought an original perspective that influenced the very notion of what development is, based on the understanding of economy as an instrument for human development, which was to some extent incorporated in the current Brazilian Constitution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-203
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Global Ethics
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Brazilian constitution
  • Catholic action
  • Development
  • Economy and humanism
  • Louis-Joseph Lebret

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