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Religion, Medicine, and Moral Anthropology
What, exactly, does it mean to be human? It is an age-old question, one for which theology, philosophy, science, and medicine have all provided different answers. But though a unified response to the question can no longer be taken for granted, how we answer it frames the wide range of different norms, principles, values, and intuitions that characterize today's bioethical discussions. If we don't know what it means to be human, how can we judge whether biomedical sciences threaten or enhance our humanity? This fundamental question, however, receives little attention in the study of bioethics. In a field consumed with the promises and perils of new medical discoveries, emerging technologies, and unprecedented social change, current conversations about bioethics focus primarily on questions of harm and benefit, patient autonomy, and equality of health care distribution. Prevailing models of medical ethics emphasize human capacity for self-control and self-determination, rarely considering such inescapable dimensions of the human condition as disability, loss, and suffering, community and dignity, all of which make it difficult for us to be truly independent. In Health and Human Flourishing, contributors from a wide range of disciplines mine the intersection of the secular and the religious, the medical and the moral, to unearth the ethical and clinical implications of these facets of human existence. Their aim is a richer bioethics, one that takes into account the roles of vulnerability, dignity, integrity, and relationality in human affliction as well as human thriving. Including an examination of how a theological anthropologyùa theological understanding of what it means to be a human beingùcan help us better understand health care, social policy, and science, this thought-provoking anthology will inspire much-needed conversation among philosophers, theologians, and health care professionals.
The "Last Things" in Catholic Imagination
In Icons of Hope: The "Last Things" in Catholic Imagination, John Thiel, one of the most influential Catholic theologians today, argues that modern theologians have been unduly reticent in their writing about "last things": death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Beholden to a historical-critical standard of interpretation, they often have been reluctant to engage in eschatological reflection that takes the doctrine of the "last things" seriously as real events that Christians are obliged to imagine meaningfully and to describe with some measure of faithful coherence. Modern theology's religious pluralism leaves room for a speculative style of interpretation that issues in icons of hope—theological portraits of resurrected life that can inform and inspire the life of faith. Icons of Hope presents an interpretation of heavenly life, the Last Judgment, and the communion of the saints that is shaped by a view of the activity of the blessed dead consistent with Christian belief in the resurrection of the body, namely, the view that the blessed dead in heaven continue to be eschatologically engaged in the redemptive task of forgiveness.
Twelve Essays on Faith and Academic Life
The contributors to this inspiring anthology meet the challenge that everyone faces: that of becoming a whole person in both their personal and professional lives. John C. Haughey, SJ, has gathered twelve professionals in higher education from a variety of disciplines—philosophy, theology, health care, business, and administration. What they have in common reflects the creative understanding of the meaning of “catholic” as Haughey has found it to operate in Catholic higher education.
Each essay in the first six chapters describes how its author has assembled a unique whole from within his or her particular area of academic competence. The last six chapters are more autobiographical, with each author describing what has become central to his or her identities. All twelve are “anticipating an entirety” with each contributing a coherence that is as surprising as it is delightful.
Vol. 58 (2007) - vol. 59 (2008)
The Innes Review is a fully peer-reviewed journal covering the part played by the Catholic Church in Scottish history. It includes all aspects of Scottish history and culture, especially ones related to religious history. Published continuously by the Scottish Catholic Historical Association since 1950, it contains articles and book reviews on a wide field of ecclesiastical, cultural, liturgical, literary and political history ranging from Celtic times to the present day. It is named after Thomas Innes (1662-1744), a missionary priest, historian, and archivist of the Scots College in Paris whose impartial scholarship stood out amongst the denominational prejudices of the time.
The Magdalen laundries were workhouses in which many Irish women and girls were effectively imprisoned because they were perceived to be a threat to the moral fiber of society. Mandated by the Irish state beginning in the eighteenth century, they were operated by various orders of the Catholic Church until the last laundry closed in 1996. A few years earlier, in 1993, an order of nuns in Dublin sold part of their Magdalen convent to a real estate developer. The remains of 155 inmates, buried in unmarked graves on the property, were exhumed, cremated, and buried elsewhere in a mass grave. This triggered a public scandal in Ireland and since then the Magdalen laundries have become an important issue in Irish culture, especially with the 2002 release of the film “The Magdalene Sisters.” Focusing on the ten Catholic Magdalen laundries operating between 1922 and 1996, Ireland's Magdalen Laundries and the Nation's Architecture of Containment offers the first history of women entering these institutions in the twentieth century. Because the religious orders have not opened their archival records, Smith argues that Ireland's Magdalen institutions continue to exist in the public mind primarily at the level of story (cultural representation and survivor testimony) rather than history (archival history and documentation). Addressed to academic and general readers alike, James M. Smith challenges the nation—church, state, and society—to acknowledge its complicity in Ireland's Magdalen scandal and to offer redress for victims and survivors alike.
The history of Mexico in the twentieth century is marked by conflict between church and state. This book focuses on the efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to influence Mexican society through Jesuit-led organizations such as the Mexican Catholic Youth Association, the National Catholic Student Union, and the Universidad Iberoamericana. Dedicated to the education and indoctrination of Mexico’s middle- and upper-class youth, these organizations were designed to promote conservative Catholic values. The author shows that they left a very different imprint on Mexican society, training a generation of activists who played important roles in politics and education. Ultimately, Espinosa shows, the social justice movement that grew out of Jesuit education fostered the leftist student movement of the 1960s that culminated in the Tlatelolco massacre of 1968. This study demonstrates the convergence of the Church, Mexico’s new business class, and the increasingly pro-capitalist PRI, the party that has ruled Mexico in recent decades.
Espinosa’s archival research has led him to important but long-overlooked events like the student strike of 1944, the internal upheavals of the Church over liberation theology, and the complicated relations between the Jesuits and the conservative business class. His book offers vital new perspectives for scholars of education, politics, and religion in twentieth-century Mexico.
Moral Theologian at the End of the Manualist Era
John Cuthbert Ford, SJ (1902-1989) was one of the leading American Catholic moralists of the 20th century. This is the first full-length analysis of his work and influence, one that not only reveals a traditionally Catholic method of moral analysis but al
This small book offers, in a Latin/English editon, a contribution of John Duns Scotus to the theological discussion on Mary the Mother of God. His views had a profound influence on Marian doctrine and devotion over the centuries, culminating in Pius IX’s dogmatic proclamation of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. The questions are dealt with in Scotus’s Ordinatio and are set up in the stylized tripartite format used by medieval professional theologians in their commentaries on the Sentences of Peter Lombard.
This detailed discussion of Augustine’s journey toward God, as it is described in the first six books of the Confessions, begins with infancy, moves through childhood and adolescence, and culminates in youthful maturity. In the first stage, Augustine deals with the problems of original innocence and sin; in the second, he addresses a pear-stealing episode that recapitulates the theft of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and confronts the problem of sexuality with which he wrestles until his conversion; and in the third, he turns toward philosophy, only to be captivated successively by dualism, skepticism, and Catholicism. Augustine’s journey exhibits temporal, spatial, and eternal dimensions and combines his head and his heart in equal proportions. Vaught shows that the Confessions should be interpreted as an attempt to address the person as a whole rather than through our intellectual or volitional dimensions exclusively. The passion with which Augustine describes the end of his journey is reflected best in a sentence found in the opening chapter of the text—“You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” Interpreting this statement, Carl G. Vaught presents a more emphatically Christian Augustine than is usually found in contemporary scholarship. Refusing to view Augustine in an exclusively Neoplatonic framework, Vaught holds that Augustine baptizes Plotinus just as successfully as Aquinas baptizes Aristotle. It cannot be denied that Ancient philosophy influences Augustine decisively. Nevertheless, he holds the experiential and the theoretical dimensions of his journey toward God together as a distinctive expression of the Christian tradition.