Médaille, John C.

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Médaille, John C.

PERSONAL:

Children: five.

ADDRESSES:

Home—TX. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Entrepreneur, realtor, educator, and writer. Spent more than three decades in management at large corporations; independent real estate agent in Irving, TX; University of Dallas, Dallas, TX, adjunct instructor of theology. Also served five terms as city councilman and as mayor pro tem in 1991, Irving.

WRITINGS:

The Vocation of Business: Social Justice in the Marketplace, Continuum (New York, NY), 2007.

The Vocation of Business: The Theory and Practice of Social Justice, Continuum (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including the New Oxford Review.

SIDELIGHTS:

John C. Médaille teaches about social justice and business at the University of Dallas and also has more than thirty years experience working in management at major corporations. In his book The Vocation of Business: Social Justice in the Marketplace, the author focuses on distributive justice, or the idea of distributing common goods fairly within society. According to the author, the value of distributive justice was on an equal par with economic exchange (also known as "corrective justice") until the economic system of capitalism, which is based on private ownership, took root at the end of the seventeenth century. Subsequently, distributive justice has fallen far below corrective justice in importance within modern economic systems.

"This book includes valuable insights from philosophers, economists, and theologians throughout history," wrote Mark Russell on the Ethix Web site. Although Russell noted that the book is complex and oriented toward academics, he added: "But for those with the time and energy, it is a worthwhile read."

In his book, Médaille also takes a close look at theology and economic theory within the Catholic Church as it is related to distributive justice. "Médaille's range is breathtaking," commented Angelo Matera in the Houston Catholic Worker; "he explains classical economic theory and the Church's social encyclicals, the arguments of the Catholic ‘neoconservatives,’ the history of ‘Distributism’ … [and] the Catholic-influenced movement for a wide dispersion of land and property." Matera also wrote in the same review: "He continues on to the ‘just wage’ and the theory of the corporation, and then presents several case studies of recent social and business innovations that illustrate how CST [Catholic social teaching] can be implemented."

Other reviewers also commented on the author's presentation of how Catholic social teaching approaches fair distribution with society. John A. Coleman, writing in America, noted the author's emphasis on not just theory but the application of CST. Coleman wrote: "Médaille knows a mere vision of justice does not necessarily result in just institutions. He claims that Catholic social teaching on economics needs to be closely correlated with the complexities of economic laws."

The author also explores how ethics must be an essential part of an economic system and that there cannot be a value-free economics. He discusses the shareholder, stakeholder, and common good business models. He also provides a chapter containing a brief history of economics. The final part of the book examines Catholic social teaching in depth, along with the ethics of treating workers as a commodity only. In his review for America, Coleman had high praise for The Vocation of Business: Social Justice in the Marketplace, calling it a "highly original, intriguing and challenging book," as well as a "sophisticated and learned excursus."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

America, October 29, 2007, John A. Coleman, "Go Back to the Common Good," review of The Vocation of Business: Social Justice in the Marketplace, p. 31.

Houston Catholic Worker, July-August, 2007, Angelo Matera, "Angelo Matera on The Vocation of Business: Social Justice in the Marketplace."

ONLINE

Ethix,http://www.ethix.org/ (January 14, 2008), Mark Russell, review of The Vocation of Business: Social Justice in the Marketplace.

John C. Médaille Home Page,http://www.medaille.com/distributivism.htm (January 14, 2008).

RE/MAX DFW Associates,http://www.rmdfw.com/jmedaille (January 14, 2008), brief employee profile of author.