The Crisis of Authority in Catholic Modernity

Overview


One deep problem facing the Catholic church is the question of how its teaching authority is understood today. It is fairly clear that, while Rome continues to teach as if its authority were unchanged from the days before Vatican II (1962-65), the majority of Catholics - within the first-world church, at least - take a far more independent line, and increasingly understand themselves (rather than the church) as the final arbiters of decision-making, especially on ethical questions. This collection of essays ...
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The Crisis of Authority in Catholic Modernity

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Overview


One deep problem facing the Catholic church is the question of how its teaching authority is understood today. It is fairly clear that, while Rome continues to teach as if its authority were unchanged from the days before Vatican II (1962-65), the majority of Catholics - within the first-world church, at least - take a far more independent line, and increasingly understand themselves (rather than the church) as the final arbiters of decision-making, especially on ethical questions. This collection of essays explores the historical background and present ecclesial situation, explaining the dramatic shift in attitude on the part of contemporary Catholics in the U.S. and Europe. The overall purpose is neither to justify nor to repudiate the authority of the church's hierarchy, but to cast some light on: the context within which it operates, the complexities and ambiguities of the historical tradition of belief and behavior it speaks for, and the kinds of limits it confronts - consciously or otherwise. The authors do not hope to fix problems, although some of the essays make suggestions, but to contribute to a badly needed intra-Catholic dialogue without which, they believe, problems will continue to fester and solutions will remain elusive.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199778782
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/6/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 1,060,468
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

MJL: Senior Fellow, Lonergan Institute, Boston College FO: Former president of Williams College, former president of the New England Medieval Conference, currently chairman of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies

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Table of Contents

Prologue: The Problem of Authority and Limit. Michael J. Lacey

Section One: Historical Background - Contested Pasts
1. History and the Return of the Repressed in Catholic Modernity: The Dilemma Posed by Constance. Francis Oakley
2. Leo's Church and Our Own. Michael J. Lacey
3. Benedict XVI and the Interpretation of Vatican II. Joseph A. Komonchak

Section Two: Theological, Canonistic, and Philosophical Issues - Stubborn Challenges, Emerging Directions.
4. Catholic Tradition and Traditions. Francis A. Sullivan, S.J.
5. Something There Is That Doesn't Love a Law: Canon Law and Its Discontents. John P. Beal
6. A Teaching Church That Learns? Discerning 'Authentic' Teaching in Our Times. Gerard Mannion
7. Moral Theology After Vatican II. Lisa Sowell Cahill
8. Retrieving and Reframing Catholic Casuistry. M. Cathleen Kaveny
9. Magisterial Authority. Charles Taylor

Section Three: Practical Limits - Authority in the Lived Catholicism of American Laity and Clergy.
10. American Catholics and Church Authority. William V. D'Antonio, James D. Davidson, Dean R. Hoge, and Mary Gautier
11. Souls and Bodies: The Birth Control Controversy and The Collapse of Confession. Leslie Woodcock Tentler
12. Assessing the Education of Priests and Lay Ministers: Content and Consequences. Katarina Schuth

Epilogue: The Matter of Unity. Francis Oakley

Appendix: Remarks on Interpreting Vatican II. Pope Benedict XVI

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