Idle Hands and the Omega Point: Labor Automation and Roman Catholic Social Teaching

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The prospect of labor automation raises the question of the role of work in a good Christian life. This article examines three polar theologies of work present in Roman Catholic thought: labor as drudgery, labor as dignified calling and labor as an obstacle. These three theologies inform an eschatological vision of labor—Christians are called to work to build the kingdom of God, not merely to acquire material possessions. Finally, two ultimate issues are raised: the distribution of resources and the problem of idleness in a post-labor world. All of this suggests Catholics must promote a future of dignified labor dedicated to love of neighbor and God.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAI and IA: Utopia or Extinction?
EditorsTed Peters
PublisherATF Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781925679236
ISBN (Print)9781925679212
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAgathon: A Journal of Ethics and Value in the Modern World

User-Defined Keywords

  • Theology of Work
  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • Labor Automation
  • Kingdom of God
  • Technological Singularity


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