Workingman's Guilds of the Middle Ages, The (Dr. Godefroid Kurth)

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Introduction by Father Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp.


Godefroid Kurth, C.S.G., was born at Arlon, Belgium, May 11th, 1847, and died at Assche, Brabant, January 4th, 1916. He was a Professor at the State University of Liege from 1872 to 1906, and then Director of the Belgian Historical Institute in Rome from 1906 to 1916. He was Secretary of the Royal Historical Commission and Member of: The Academy of the Catholic Religion (Rome); the Royal Society of Literature (London); the Royal Academy of Belgium and various other learned societies.


This short essay on the workingman’s guilds by Professor Kurth was translated into English by Father Denis Fahey, who also wrote the introduction included here. The introduction is longer than the article since it introduces briefly the entire plan for a Christian social order, of which the economic life of the laboring man is only a portion.


When speaking of the economic life of a Christian society the most important principle to consider is that it—the economic life of society— must be subject to the moral law before all else. This subjection must be the first principle of the structure of society’s economic life and not simply something engrafted as an afterthought. Both politics and economics are disciplines subsidiary to the science of ethics.  Without this subjection nations become ensnared by the terrible modern errors known as capitalism, communism, or socialism, all of which amount to the same thing, the destruction of the society operated according to their principles, and the end of Christian civilization.

Softcover - 64 pages