Catholicism And Religious Freedom

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Overview

The late Pope John Paul II frequently invoked Dignitatis Humanae as one of the foundational documents of contemporary Church social teaching. In this timely new edited collection, Catholicism and Religious Freedom: Contemporary Reflections on Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Liberty, Kenneth L. Grasso and Robert P. Hunt have assembled an impressive group of scholars to discuss the current meanings of one the Vatican's most important documents and its place in the Church. Dignitatis Humanae understands itself as bringing "forth new things that are in harmony with the old." Today, forty years after its publication, the precise nature of these "new things" and their relationship to "the old" remain among the most important pieces of unfinished business confronting Catholic social thought. The theological issues brought forth in Dignitatis Humanae go to the heart of the contemporary debate about the nature, foundation, and scope of religious liberty. Here, the contributors to this volume give these considerations the serious and sustained attention they deserve.

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Editorial Reviews

Commonweal - Joseph A. Komonchak
The volume may be recommended, not because it settles any particular issues, but because it urges renewed consideration of a text that has been more taken for granted of late than actively and intelligently studied.
Journal of Church & State
This book is a welcome contribution to the subject of Catholicism and Religious Freedom. 2007
Joseph Koterski
The existence of a right to religious freedom is now widely recognized, but the foundation, the nature, and the scope of this right remain hotly debated. The essays of this book carefully distinguish typical secular accounts of the theoretical basis of such a right from the account provided in terms of a truly Catholic understanding of the human person, society, and the nature of religious truth. This volume rightly asks whether Dignitatis Humanae constitutes a break with previous church teaching or a genuine development of doctrine and argues for rejecting the privatization of religion fostered by Enlightenment liberalism is incompatible with an authentic understanding of religious freedom and the social dimensions of religion. This volume will be a very welcome resource for anyone considering church-state relations and Catholic social teaching.
James W. Skillen
In an age of worldwide religious resurgence and of continuing controversy in the United States about the nature and limits of religious freedom, this book is both timely and unusual. Few Americans are aware of the radical change that has taken place in Roman Catholic teaching about religious freedom after Vatican II released its Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignitatis Humanae) in the 1960s. This volume not only explains the significance of that Declaration but also takes up the challenge of its unfinished agenda for our day. Anyone interested in religious freedom and just governance should read this book.
January 2008 Journal Of Law and Religion
Each of the essays is well thought out and deftly argued. The quality of argumentation is flawless, and the perspectives varied.
Jean Bethke Elshtain
All those interested in religious freedom and its centrality to post-Vatican II moral theology will find much to illumine and to challenge in this excellent collection.
Francis J. Beckwith
Grasso and Hunt have assembled a wonderful collection of essays that clearly articulate the Catholic case for religious liberty. In an age in which the dominant view of church and state among academics, ironically, embraces a liberal Protestant view of theological truth (while claiming to be 'neutral' on the question), the contributors to this book, like the Declaration of Religious Liberty they engage, take the claims of theology seriously. The Declaration understands that religious liberty is only a good if humanity has a nature that flourishes in a regime in which this liberty is protected. But that assumes a certain theological understanding about the order and nature of things. The contributors of this book explore the many facets of this notion with clarity, rigor, and insight.
The American Spectator - George Weigel
...discussion of Dignitatis Humanae and the issues it raises will continue far into the twenty-first century. This exemplary volume will help keep the conversation focused, and serious.
Journal Of Merkets and Morality - Fall 2007
As the editors of Catholicism and Religious Freedom astutely note in their panoramic and extremely substantive introduction, while DH "marks a dramatic expansion in the Church's teaching on the subject of religious liberty"....both so timely and so needed....the essays in this volume are uniformly solid...
Review Of Faith and International Affairs - Keith Pavlischek
...they do serve as an excellent starting point for scholarly engagement with modern Catholic social thought, to which Catholicism and Religious Freedom is a fine addition.
Politics and Religion - Amy Cavender
Each of the first six essays is strong, and together they provide the reader with a good understanding of both the development of the Declaration and its contemporary implications.
November 2008 The Catholic Social Science Review
Catholicism and Religious Freedom is an important collection....The essays succeed in deepening out understanding of Dignitatis Humanae, the Second Vatican Council's statement on the right to religious freedom....In this text, Grasso and his co-editor, Robert P. Hunt, have assembled a fine line-up of scholars known for their work in Catholic ethics and social thought to join them in their work.
First Things, February 2009 - Richard W. Garnett
Helpful and engaging collection of essays.
Fellowship Of Catholic Scholars Quarterly
...important volume of essays....One of the book's great merits is the thoroughness with which these two men's writings on the subject are analyzed, compared, and applied to the question of how best to interpret DH. 2007
Public Justice Report
For a contemporary study of religious freedom that engages and illuminates the best of contemporary Catholic thought on this subject and that is highly relevant to ongoing American debates over religious freedom, this is the book to buy.
Politics And Religion
Each of the first six essays is strong, and together they provide the reader with a good understanding of both the development of the Declaration and its contemporary implications.
— Amy Cavender
The American Spectator
...discussion of Dignitatis Humanae and the issues it raises will continue far into the twenty-first century. This exemplary volume will help keep the conversation focused, and serious.
— George Weigel
Journal Of Merkets and Morality
As the editors of Catholicism and Religious Freedom astutely note in their panoramic and extremely substantive introduction, while DH "marks a dramatic expansion in the Church's teaching on the subject of religious liberty"....both so timely and so needed....the essays in this volume are uniformly solid...
— Fall 2007
Review Of Faith and International Affairs
...they do serve as an excellent starting point for scholarly engagement with modern Catholic social thought, to which Catholicism and Religious Freedom is a fine addition.
— Keith Pavlischek
Commonweal
The volume may be recommended, not because it settles any particular issues, but because it urges renewed consideration of a text that has been more taken for granted of late than actively and intelligently studied.
— Joseph A. Komonchak, Catholic University of America
Journal of Church and State
This book is a welcome contribution to the subject of Catholicism and Religious Freedom.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742551923
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Series: Sheed and Ward Book Series
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 0.75 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth L. Grasso is professor of political science at Texas State University - San Marcos. Robert P. Hunt is chair of the political science department at Kean University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Dignitatis Humanae: The Freedom of the Church and the Responsibility of the State Chapter 3 Two Concepts of Religious Liberty: Dignitatis Humanae v. the U.S. Supreme Court Chapter 4 Dignitatis Humanae and the Development of Catholic Doctrine Chapter 5 Dignitatis Humanae, the Catholic Concept of the State, and Public Morality Chapter 6 The Promised Time of Dignitatis Humanae: A Radical Protestant Perspective Chapter 7 Persuaded, Not Commanded: Neo-Calvinism, Dignitatis Humanae, and Religious Freedom Chapter 8 On Proposing Truth and Not Imposing It: John Paul's Personalism and the Teaching of Dignitatis Humanae Chapter 9 An Unfinished Argument: Dignitatis Humanae, John Courtney Murray, and the Catholic Theory of the State Chapter 10 The Architecture of Freedom: John Paul II and John Courtney Murray on Religious Freedom

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