Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Faculty of Arts

First Supervisor

Anne Harris


The Bishops of the Australian Catholic Church have been issuing annual statements on political, economic and social issues since 1940. The focus of this thesis, the 1992 Bishops' Statement, Common Wealth for the Common Good, has as its main theme the distribution of wealth in Australia. It is the culmination of a five year process of consultation and drafting by the Bishops' Committee for Justice, Development and Peace (BCJDP), under the direction of its Executive Secretary, Dr Michael Costigan. This thesis attempts to identify the theological approach, or perhaps approaches. of the Bishops' Statement by comparing it to five selected theological types. Tile instrument used to assist in the comparison is comprised of a number of theological and socio-economic disciplines. Each of the types and the Bishops' Statement are analysed according to their use of the disciplines and then the Bishops' Statement is compared to the types to conclude whether it matches any one type in particular. This thesis concludes that the Bishops' Statement does in fact correlate almost exactly with one of the selected theological types.