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Value, Meaning and Social Structure of Human Work

With reference to «Laborem Exercens» and its relevance for a post-colonial African society


Obiora F. Ike

A fundamental dimension of man's life on earth is Human Work. It is the guiding thread which co-ordinates the multifarious activities of man in his attempt to build, renew and elevate the world. Central to the problem of work is man, for he is the being who works and who must be served by work and its products. The Encyclical Letter of John Paul II «Laborem Exercens» devotes adequate attention to the right understanding of the value meaning and social ordering of human work with a consideration of the problems and prospects of Work in an post-industrial society. What has «Laborem Exercens» to offer the African in post-colonial society? This work attempts to re-evaluate-adapt and re-translate the relevance of the social Teachings of the Church in the context of Nigeria.
Contents: Human Work in pre-colonial, pre-industrial Igbo society - The colonial and post-colonial abuse of the right understanding of work - The tenets of «Laborem Exercens» on the value, meaning and social structure of Human Work - The relevance of Social Ethics for post-colonial Nigeria.