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A Theological Introduction
Two principles capture the essence of the Catholic tradition on sexual ethics: that each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life, and that any human genital act must occur within the framework of marriage. In the Catholic tradition, moral sexual activity is institutionalized within the confines of marriage and procreation, and sexual morality is marital morality.
But theologians Todd Salzman and Michael Lawler contend that there is a disconnect between many of the Church's absolute sexual norms and other theological and intellectual developments explicitly recognized and endorsed in the Catholic tradition, especially since the Second Vatican Council. These developments include the shift from a primary static worldview to a historically conscious worldview, one that recognizes reality as dynamic, evolving, changing, and particular. By employing such a historically conscious worldview, alternative claims about the moral legitimacy of controversial topics such as contraception, artificial reproduction, and homosexual marriage can faithfully emerge within a Catholic context. Convinced of the central role that love, desire, and fertility play in a human life, and also in the life of Christian discipleship, the authors propose an understanding of sexuality that leads to the enhancement of human sexual relationships and flourishing.
This comprehensive introduction to Catholic sexual ethics -- complete with thought-provoking study questions at the end of each chapter -- will be sure to stimulate dialogue about sexual morality between Catholic laity, theologians, and the hierarchy. Anyone seeking a credible and informed Catholic sexual ethic will welcome this potentially revolutionary book.
Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology
Two principles capture the essence of the official Catholic position on the morality of sexuality: first, that any human genital act must occur within the framework of heterosexual marriage; second, each and every marriage act must remain open to the tran
Religious Life in Mexico Before the Reforma
William Taylor explores the use of local and regional shrines, and devotion to images of Christ and Mary, including Our Lady of Guadalupe, to get to the heart of the politics and practices of faith in Mexico before the Reforma. Each of these essays touches on methodological and conceptual matters that open out to processes and paradoxes of change and continuity, exposing the symbolic complexity behind the material representations.
A Theological Perspective
How does the Church function in the world? What is it called to do, and what does it actually do? Charles E. Curran explores the social mission of the U.S. Catholic Church from a theological perspective, analyzing and assessing four asp
Fioretti for Our Times
The narratives - or, Fioretti (an anonymous collection of texts from the fourteenth century about the early days of the Franciscan family) - presented in this book attempt to draw from subjective experiences and events in today's Franciscan family on several continents and in many cultures. In the metaphors and comparisons of picturesque and sometimes unusual language, they present to Francis's brothers and sisters today's problems and challenges and the question of the meaning of the Franciscan heritage in contexts different from that of the Middle Ages.
Fifty years after his death, the thought of the French scientist and Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) continues to inspire new ways of understanding humanity's future. Trained as a paleontologist and philosopher, Teilhard was an innovative synthesizer of science and religion, developing an idea of evolution as an unfolding of material and mental worlds into an integrated, holistic universe at what he called the Omega Point. His books, such as the bestselling The Phenomenon of Man, have influenced generations of ecologists, environmentalists, planners, and others concerned with the fate of the earth.This book brings together original essays by leading experts who reflect on Teilhard's legacy for today's globalized world. They explore such topics as: the idea of God and the person; quantum reality and Teilhard's vision; spiritual resources for the future; politics and economics; and a charter for co-evolution.
The Pittsburgh Laity and the Second Vatican Council, 1950-1972
Most scholars and media analysts have suggested that Vatican II revolutionized American Catholicism, with the changes it mandated filtering down from the Council to the church hierarchy to the laity. Timothy Kelly's book challenges this assumption, based on his careful tracing of Catholic lay practices in the Pittsburgh Diocese from the 1950s through the 1970s. The lay experience of American Catholics did change dramatically in the 1960s, but Kelly argues that the transformation began earlier, before the Council, and continued throughout the next decade. Kelly examines the discourse of Catholicism in the 1950s and compares this to actual lay behavior. He discusses critical changes introduced by Vatican II and follows the lay response for a decade after the last Council sessions to illuminate Catholic efforts to implement the changes in everyday practice. His individual chapters focus on devotional behavior, liturgical reforms, and broader social and cultural issues. Kelly's social history reveals that Vatican II was not a shock to a complaisant and unquestioning laity as much as a reform necessary to keep pace with changing religious, social, and cultural sensibilities. As Catholics rejected a heavily devotional religiosity, they sought instead practices that resonated more with their lived experiences. An emphasis on social justice grew, but lay Catholics had not yet charted a clear path by the end of the Council's last session, and by that time, church officials had begun to resist some of the Vatican II reforms. A fascinating study of the most profound transformation in American Catholicism in the last century, Kelly's work is an important contribution to Catholic history.