(Social justice; 04-02; p.2)
Ancient and thinkers of the middle-ages thought
of humans and society quite different from today. So, there are
only a few similarities between notions of justice of e.g. Aristotle
or Thomas Aquinas and modern ones. Not before the Enlightenment
and the French Revolution connected to that a concept has been
established that provides individuals with rights stemming from
its very nature as human beings.
In the course of the nineteenth century questions
of social justice became relevant for ever more people in their
every-day life: industrialisation, at first scarcely regulated,
lead to the impoverishment of those formerly working for themselves
to make a living.
Such, the "social question" had been raised and legitimising
answers had to be found. Social sciences just emerged as independent
disciplines, the "discovery of society" (a chapter title
in K. Polanyi: The great transformation, New York et al. 1944)
had just begun.
Consequently, people asked those, who had comforted individuals
as well as legitimised power for centuries: the Christian churches,
in Germany divided into a protestant majority and a roman-catholic
minority (representing a share of the population of about one
(read on here)