Christian Social Ethics (CSE)

Christian Social Ethics has its origins in Moral Theology. In the 19th century CSE started to develop into a brunch of its own with its distinctive profile. The first chair of SCE was created in 1893 in Münster, Germany. The university of Salzburg owns one since 1967.

Christian Social Ethics calls for a political and social system that is in line with human dignity. It wants to give orientation and guidance and tries to find ways of organizing human communal life. CSE is in a constant need for dialog with the other sciences as there is no sure formula to solve social issues.


Individual human beings are the foundation, the cause and the end of every social institution. (Encyclical "Mater et magistra" John XXIII., 1961, no. 219)

Sphere of Action

  • wherever human dignity is in danger or human rights are violated
  • where responsible decisions have to be taken

Major topic since Vatican Council II

  • Commitment for worldwide justice and solidarity 
  • Commitment for human dignity and realization of human rights   
  • Linking together love, justice and mercy o   Advocating economical justice  
  • Supporting peace and non-violence o   In search for humane living conditions in our society   
  • Taking care of marginalized groups in our society   
  • The New Social Question 
  • Developing forms of a Christian policy  
  • Giving advice on how to handle power in a responsible way

Educational Objectives

Students are guided to critical reflect trends in society. They should learn to evaluate and assess the current situations according to the fundamental principles of social justice. Man precedes the world of things. Action has to be taken wherever human dignity is in danger. Students should also learn how to get in an appreciative dialogue with other sciences. Thereby sciences should learn from each other and find solutions to their problems under the premise of justice, mercy, love and solidarity.

All in all students should realize that it is of no use to simply learn by heart about the principles, to reaffirm intentions, to denounce injustice or to prophecy the judgment of God. What is needed is to combine the learned principles with action. An action that is derived from the own responsibility that every human has to take. (compare Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Letter: "Octogesima adveniens" (1971), no. 48).



  • News
    Salzburg's Armenia expert Jasmine Dum-Tragut reported in the Salzburg Nachrichten on the 12th October about the situation in Nagorna-Karaback in Armenia. The roots of the conflict go back a long way here. That makes a compromise difficult at the moment.
    As part of a six year long laser scan-monitoring in the Hohen Tauern geoscientists from Austria, Germany and Switzerland (GEORESEARCH, University of Salzburg, TU Munich, University of Bonn, University of Lausanne) examined the connection between the current glacier retreat and rockfall activity.
    New publication from the der MINT and the Media Didactics of the University of Salzburg by Waxmann Verlag.
    The EPU Project Call 2020 is now open! The deadline for submissions is the 17th November 2020 (12:00).
    The Faculty of Slavic Studies, the cultural centre DAS KINO and the Russian Centre invite you to the fifth series of cinema films from Eastern and Central Europe. As part of the film club „Slawistyka, Slavistika, Cлавистика“ award winning current Polish, Russian and Czech films with political and social themes will be shown.
    Applications for two dissertation prizes (worth 2,000 euros each) can be made until the 31st October.
    The Language Center has been active in the field of intercomprehension didactics for almost 20 years,Well-known multilingual didactics experts, came together to present the current state of research in this area.The result is the anthology "Lehr- und Lernkompetenzen für die Interkompehension. Perspektiven für die mehrsprachige Bildung (Teaching and Learning Skills for Intercomprehension. Perspectives for Multilingual Education)"Band 10 der Salzburger Reihe zur Lehrer/innen/bildung.
    During the time of Corona, in particular, it became clear just how important it is to support students digitally in their every day university life. The project „On Track“ – stay on track combines digital and social worlds. It is starting at the right time!
  • Veranstaltungen
  • 21.10.20 Gesundheitsfördernde Effekte von Musikhören – Die Rolle des psychobiologischen Stressystems
  • Alumni Club
  • University of Salzburg's facebook site University of Salzburg's twitter site University of Salzburg's instagram site University of Salzburg's flickr site University of Salzburg's vimeo site