Whose Church?: A Concise Guide to Progressive Catholicism


Noted social ethicist Dan Maguire explains what Catholicism actually says about good sex, women's equality, social justice, and the environment.

"All the world's major religions started out powered by the left-wing passions of justice, hope, and compassion...targeting exploitation of the have-nots by the haves."from Whose Church?

In the spring of 2007, Daniel C. Maguire was...
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Noted social ethicist Dan Maguire explains what Catholicism actually says about good sex, women's equality, social justice, and the environment.

"All the world's major religions started out powered by the left-wing passions of justice, hope, and compassion...targeting exploitation of the have-nots by the haves."from Whose Church?

In the spring of 2007, Daniel C. Maguire was condemned by U.S. bishops for his progressive writings, because, the New York Times reported, Maguire's pamphlets on abortion and same-sex marriage "are written in a very popular and lively style, and from what the bishops knew, they were very widely distributed." Praised by Ms.magazine as one of "40 male heroes who took a chance for women," Maguire is a noted theologian and ethicist whose controversial views and irreverent style have rankled conservatives for nearly thirty years. In this pithy guide to progressive Catholicism, Maguire shows how tragically far conservative Catholic politics have strayed from the best Catholic social teaching.

Whose Church? takes special aim at the "pelvic politics" that have dominated official Catholicism, skewering the Church hierarchy's rigid positions on sex and reproduction and revealing a "spiritually healthy" alternative approach that is fully in line with Catholic tradition. Whose Church? offers deeply informed and incisive theological arguments in favor of gender equality, affirmative action and antiracism, opposition to war, and the fight against poverty and economic inequality.

Full of humor, passion, and intolerance for injustice, Whose Church? is a manifesto for Catholics and forprogressives everywhere—showing the way forward at a critical juncture in the history of the U.S. Catholic Church and in progressive politics more generally.

About the series: Titles in the Whose Religion? series will spark a spirited and substantive public debate over Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, and Islam and where each stands on today's most pressing issues: poverty, the environment, war, sex, race, and women's equality. In these books, noted progressive religious leaders present persuasive and profound examinations of religious belief, justice, and public policy in America.

Debunking widely held assumptions about these religions as inherently conservative on current issues, the books in Whose Religion? will offer powerful intellectual and inspirational tools for anyone grappling with a religious framework, whether to chart their own personal spiritual and moral course or to challenge the religious right and its co-option of religion for political gain.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This book serves as a wake-up call to left-wing Catholics to fill the emptying pews of their churches. Maguire (moral theological ethics, Marquette Univ.; Sacred Choices: The Right to Contraception), a former priest, advocates following the tradition of Catholic feminists, Latin American liberation theologians, Catholic peace groups, and Catholic lay groups like Call for Action and Voice of the People. He approvingly cites Father Thomas Berry, who departs from sola scripture, puts the Bible in its place, and states that the world is our primary revelation of the divine. Other topics he discusses include warfare, capitalism, ecology, social justice, civil rights, women's issues, and political issues. Maguire weakens his argument by twice misinterpreting Mary's song in the Gospel of St. Luke as showing that Christ here addresses poverty and wealth. Mary's song, correctly understood, is about a soul hungering for God, a soul whose hunger will be filled. Traditional Catholics will see a different view of sex, abortion, and gay marriage. Recommended for large libraries.
—George Westerlund

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595583352
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Series: Whose Religion? Series
  • Pages: 178
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel C. Maguire is Professor of Moral Theological Ethics at Marquette University and the president of the Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health, and Ethics. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly and USA Today, and he has written several books, including Sacred Choices: The Right to Contraception and Abortion in Ten World Religions. He lives in Wisconsin.
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Table of Contents

1 Good Sex (Even Catholics Can Have It) 7

2 Male and Female Were We Made (With Some Variations on Those Themes) 27

3 The Perennial Orphans of American Conscience 49

4 War Is for Dummies (Antidotes in Lost Traditions) 75

5 Upwardly Mobile Poverty: An Unnecessary Metastasis 105

6 Earth Threats, Earth Hopes 133

Acknowledgments 159

Notes 163

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