From 1979 to 2000, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) was mired in conflict, with the biblicist and autonomist parties fighting openly for control. This highly polarizing struggle ended in a schism that created major changes within the SBC and also resulted in the formation of several new Baptist groups. Discussions of the schism, academic and otherwise, generally ignore the church’s clergywomen for the roles they played and the contributions they made to the fracturing of the largest Protestant group in the United States. Ordained women are typically treated as a contentious issue between the parties. Only recently are scholars beginning to take seriously these women’s contributions and interpretations as active participants in the struggle.
Anatomy of a Schism is the first book on the Southern Baptist split to place ordained women’s narratives at the center of interpretation. Author Eileen Campbell-Reed brings her unique perspective as a pastoral theologian in conducting qualitative interviews with five Baptist clergywomen and allowing their narratives to focus attention on both psychological and theological issues of the split. The stories she uncovers offer a compelling new structure for understanding the path of Southern Baptists at the close of the twentieth century. The narratives of Anna, Martha, Joanna, Rebecca, and Chloe reframe the story of Southern Baptists and reinterpret the rupture and realignment in broad and significant ways. Together they offer an understanding of the schism from three interdisciplinary perspectives—gendered, psychological, and theological—not previously available together. In conversation with other historical events and documents, the women’s narratives collaborate to provide specific perspectives with universal implications for understanding changes in Baptist life over the last four decades.
The schism’s outcomes held profound consequences for Baptist individuals and communities. Anatomy of Schism is an illuminating ethnographic and qualitative study sure to be indispensable to scholars of theology, history, and women’s studies alike.
Denounced by some as a dangerous cult and lauded by others as a miraculous faith community, the International Churches of Christ was a conservative evangelical Christian movement that grew rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s.
Among its followers, promises to heal family relationships were central to the group's appeal. Members credit the church for helping them develop so-called "awesome families"-successful marriages and satisfying relationships with children, family of origin, and new church "brothers and sisters." The church engaged an elaborate array of services, including round-the-clock counseling, childcare, and Christian dating networks-all of which were said to lead to fulfilling relationships and exciting sex lives. Before the unified movement's demise in 2003-2004, the lure of blissful family-life led more than 100,000 individuals worldwide to be baptized into the church.
In Awesome Families, Kathleen Jenkins draws on four years of ethnographic research to explain how and why so many individuals-primarily from middle- to upper-middle-class backgrounds-were attracted to this religious group that was founded on principles of enforced community, explicit authoritative relationships, and therapeutic ideals. Weaving classical and contemporary social theory, she argues that members were commonly attracted to the structure and practice of family relationships advocated by the church, especially in the context of contemporary society where gender roles and family responsibilities are often ambiguous.
Tracing the rise and fall of this fast-growing religious movement, this timely study adds to our understanding of modern society and offers insight to the difficulties that revivalist movements have in sustaining growth.
John Courtney Murray, SJ (1904-1967), is most renowned for his ethical writings, which distinguish between the secular and the sacred, and for his defense of civil religious freedom based on natural law philosophy. His later theological writings, however, in which he sought to reintegrate the temporal and the spiritual, civil society and the church, philosophy and theology, have been largely ignored. In this new collection of essays—previously scattered among various periodicals over the course of thirty years—J. Leon Hooper, S.J., presents a selection of Murray's theological writings that not only outlines and highlights the integrity of Murray's moves towards a public theological discourse but also contributes to the ongoing post-conciliar task of integrating the secular and the sacred, thereby invigorating American public conversation today.
In his editorial introductions, Hooper furthers Murray scholarship by identifying two distinct links between Murray's well known non-theological writings and the explicitly theological work that also spans his public life. Common to both areas are Murray's deepening appreciation of the historicity of all human knowing and the cognitional operations that the human person brings to both sacred and profane living.
By making available Murray's explicitly theological and Christian humanism writings, this collection further enriches American ethical, theological and philosophical debate.
Pope Francis, generally speaking, has thus far chosen to concentrate his papacy on social justice issues, as opposed to doctrinal or liturgical issues. This has led to Francis being hailed as a hero to many on the left, while it has made some conservative supporters of St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI disappointed and uncomfortable, even as they love and appreciate his person and gestures of mercy and compassion. Some find his teachings difficult to embrace, especially those concerning business and the economy. Pope Francis has spoken of building bridges as part of what it is to be Christian, but aspects of his message seem to be just constructing walls between the Holy Father and groups of the faithful.
The Business Francis Means aims to break through these walls, showing that Pope Francis has something to say to all Christians. His message, taken as a whole, keeps us from dividing the “seamless garment” of Christ: he reminds the conservatives of the problems of inequality and poverty, and the liberals that social justice is not enough – the Church is the bride of Christ, not a social institution or an NGO.
Monsignor Martin Schlag summarizes and explains the message of Pope Francis on business and the economy in this compact volume. The Business Francis Means will be of great interest to the Catholic layperson, especially one involved in political or economic life.
The reach of the Catholic Church is arguably greater than that of any other religion, extending across diverse political, ethnic, class, and cultural boundaries. But what is it about Catholicism that resonates so profoundly with followers who live under disparate conditions? What is it, for instance, that binds parishioners in America with those in Mexico? For Joseph M. Palacios, what unites Catholics is a sense of being Catholic—a social imagination that motivates them to promote justice and build a better world.
In The Catholic Social Imagination, Palacios gives readers a feeling for what it means to be Catholic and put one’s faith into action. Tracing the practices of a group of parishioners in Oakland, California, and another in Guadalajara, Mexico, Palacios reveals parallels—and contrasts—in the ways these ordinary Catholics receive and act on a church doctrine that emphasizes social justice. Whether they are building a supermarket for the low-income elderly or waging protests to promote school reform, these parishioners provide important insights into the construction of the Catholic social imagination. Throughout, Palacios also offers important new cultural and sociological interpretations of Catholic doctrine on issues such as poverty, civil and human rights, political participation, and the natural law.
Catholic Social Teaching
Mary Hobgood Temple University Press, 1991 Library of Congress BX1753.H575 1991 | Dewey Decimal 261.8508822
"This excellent book is one of the few scholarly investigations that analyze the official Catholic School Teaching from the perspective of the secular, economic, and political sciences."
Drawing upon a lively debate within the field of social theory, Mary E. Hobgood argues that the paradigm conflict between orthodox neoclassical and radical economic models is reflected in Catholic documents that address economic justice. She maintains that dynamics within Catholic teaching are explicable only in terms of this clash of fundamentally opposing perspectives.
This study shows how normative values of social justice are always tied to a particular social theory or model of society. When assumptions shift from one model to another, the concrete actions mandated by these justice norms change significantly. Consequently, the Catholic social justice tradition contains not only two mutually exclusive analyses of capitalist dynamics, it also has very different interpretations of such norms as economic democracy and a preferential notion for the poor. Hobgood argues that the Church needs to clarify the economic models that inform its social justice mandates and to assess those models for their compatibility with the Church's moral concerns, otherwise, Catholic social teaching's interpretations of justice and how Christians must act for it remain inconsistent.
"[Mary Hobgood] asks what Catholic teaching itself has assumed about the way the economy works, and she brings to the fore hidden assumptions that are fundamental to the policy prescriptions in Catholic teaching.... The result is a clear picture of the divided mind and practice of Catholicism when confronting twentieth-century economic realities. If Catholic teaching did us all the service of finding a strong moral and theological voice for a critique of secular economics, Dr. Hobgood points the way to make that voice a clearer one, more aware of its limitations and of its potential."
--Larry L. Rasmussen, from the Foreword
"This is one of the most enlightening analyses of Catholic social teaching that I have ever read. It goes far beyond the available commentaries because of its sharp focus on the economic--not just as the content of the teaching, but its provision of the theoretical framework in which to situate the economic content. The book is very insightful with regard to Catholic social teaching, but I think her exposition holds great value for the analysis of World Council of Churches' positions and the positions of any denomination. Even beyond that, her models throw light on the daily battles within any church institution that is working for justice and peace while at the same time engaging in the compromises and contradictions required to maintain itself within the current economic system."
--Marie J. Giblin, Maryknoll School of Theology
Charles E. Curran offers the first comprehensive analysis and criticism of the development of modern Catholic social teaching from the perspective of theology, ethics, and church history. Curran studies the methodology and content of the documents of Catholic social teaching, generally understood as comprising twelve papal letters beginning with Leo XIII's 1891 encyclical Rerum novarum, two documents from Vatican II, and two pastoral letters of the U.S. bishops.
He contends that the fundamental basis for this body of teaching comes from an anthropological perspective that recognizes both the inherent dignity and the social nature of the human person—thus do the church's teachings on political and economic matters chart a middle course between the two extremes of individualism and collectivism. The documents themselves tend to downplay any discontinuities with previous documents, but Curran's systematic analysis reveals the significant historical developments that have occurred over the course of more than a century. Although greatly appreciative of the many strengths of this teaching, Curran also points out the weaknesses and continuing tensions in Catholic social teaching today.
Intended for scholars and students of Catholic social ethics, as well as those involved in Catholic social ministry, this volume will also appeal to non-Catholic readers interested in an understanding and evaluation of Catholic social teaching.
In this definitive collection of essays spanning fifteen years, R. Stephen Warner traces the development of the “new paradigm” interpretation of American religion. Originally formulated in the 1990s in response to prevailing theories of secularization that focused on the waning plausibility of religion in modern societies, the new paradigm reoriented the study of religion to a focus on communities, subcultures, new religious institutions, and the fluidity of modern religious identities. This perspective continues to be one of the most important driving forces in the field and one of the most significant challenges to the idea that religious pluralism inevitably leads to religious decline.
A leading sociologist of religion, Warner shows how the new paradigm stresses the role that religion plays as a vehicle for the bonding and expression of communities within the United States—a society founded on the principle of religious disestablishment and characterized by a diverse and mobile population. Chapters examine evangelicals and Pentecostals, gay and lesbian churches, immigrant religious institutions, Hispanic parishes, and churches for the deaf in terms of this framework. Newly written introductory and concluding essays set these groups within the broad context of the developing field. A thoughtfully organized and timely collection, the volume is a valuable classroom resource as well as essential reading for scholars of contemporary religion.
Churching Of America
Finke, Roger Rutgers University Press, 1992 Library of Congress BR515.F56 1992 | Dewey Decimal 277.308
In this provocative book, Roger Finke and Rodney Stark challenge popular perceptions about American religion. They view the religious environment as a free market economy, where churches compete for souls. The story they tell is one of gains for upstart sects and losses for mainline denominations. Although many Americans assume that religious participation has declined in America, Finke and Stark present a different picture. In 1776, fewer than 1 in 5 Americans were active in church affairs. Today, church membership includes about 6 out of 10 people. But, as Finke and Stark show, not all denominations benefited from this growth. They explain how and why the leading eighteenth-century churches began their descent, while two newcomer sects, the Baptists and the Methodists, gained ground. They also analyze why the Methodists then began a long, downward slide, why the Baptists continued to succeed, how the Catholic Church met the competition of ardent Protestant missionaries, and why the Catholic commitment has declined since Vatican II. The authors also explain why ecumenical movements always fail. In short, Americans are not abandoning religion; they have been moving away from established denominations. A "sect-church process" is always under way, Finke and Stark argue, as successful churches lose their organizational vigor and are replaced by less worldly groups. Some observers assert that the rise in church membership rates indicates increased participation, not increased belief. Finke and Stark challenge this as well. They find that those groups that have gained the greatest numbers have demanded that their followers accept traditional doctrines and otherworldliness. They argue thatreligious organizations can thrive only when they comfort souls and demand sacrifice. When theology becomes too logical, or too secular, it loses people.
Although many Americans assume that religious participation has declined in America, Finke and Stark present a different picture. In 1776, fewer than 1 in 5 Americans were active in church affairs. Today, church membership includes about 6 out of 10 people.
But, as Finke and Stark show, not all denominations benefited. They explain how and why the early nineteenth-century churches began their descent, while two newcomer sects, the Baptists and the Methodists, gained ground. They also analyze why the Methodists then began a long, downward slide, why the Baptists continued to succeed, how the Catholic Church met the competition of ardent Protestant missionaries, and why the Catholic commitment has declined since Vatican II. The authors also explain why ecumenical movements always fail
In short, Americans are not abandoning religion; they have been moving away from established denominations. A "church-sect process" is always under way, Finke and Stark argue, as successful churches lose their organizational vigor and are replaced by less worldly groups.
Some observers assert that the rise in churching rates indicates increased participation, not increased belief. Finke and Stark challenge this as well. They find that those groups that have gained the greatest numbers have demanded that their followers accept traditional doctrines and otherworldliness. They argue that religious organizations can thrive only when they comfort souls and demand sacrifice. When theology becomes too logical, or too secular, it loses people.
The Common Good of Constitutional Democracy offers a rich collection of essays in political philosophy by Swiss philosopher Martin Rhonheimer. Like his other books in both ethical theory and applied ethics, which have recently been published in English, the essays included are distinguished by the philosophical rigor and meticulous attention to the primary and secondary literature of the various topics discussed
Congregation and Community
Ammerman, Nancy Rutgers University Press, 1996 Library of Congress BR526.A45 1997 | Dewey Decimal 250.973
Change--in population, economy, and culture--is sweeping through American communities. Corner groceries are stocking new foods. New roads are being built and Main Streets abandoned. Schools have come and gone, and old friends move away as strangers arrive. But in every community, no matter how volatile, religious institutions provide for their members places of moral guidance and spiritual nurture, civic participation, and identity.
How do congregations react to significant community change? Why do some religious institutions decline in the face of racial integration while others adapt and grow? How do congregations make sense of economic distress? Do they provide havens from community upheaval or vehicles for change? Congregation and Community is the most comprehensive study to date of congregations in the face of community transformation. Nancy Ammerman and her colleagues include stories of over twenty congregations in nine communities from across the nation, communities with new immigrant populations, growing groups of gays and lesbians, rapid suburbanization, and economic dislocations.
With almost half of the nation's population attending religious services each week, it is impossible to understand change in American society without a close look at congregations. Congregation and Community will exist as a standard resource for years to come, and clergy, academics, and general readers alike will benefit from its insights.
Contemporary Mormonism is the first collection of sociological essays to focus exclusively on Mormons. Featuring the work of the major scholars conducting social science research on Mormons today, this volume offers refreshing new perspectives not only on Mormonism but also on the nature of successful religious movements, secularization and assimilation, church growth, patriarchy and gender roles, and other topics. This first paperback edition includes a new introduction assessing the current state of Mormon scholarship and the effect of the globalization of the LDS Church on scholarly research about Mormonism.
What explains the rapid growth of state power in early modern Europe? While most scholars have pointed to the impact of military or capitalist revolutions, Philip S. Gorski argues instead for the importance of a disciplinary revolution unleashed by the Reformation. By refining and diffusing a variety of disciplinary techniques and strategies, such as communal surveillance, control through incarceration, and bureaucratic office-holding, Calvin and his followers created an infrastructure of religious governance and social control that served as a model for the rest of Europe—and the world.
God knows it is hard to make God boring, Stanley Hauerwas writes, but American Christians, aided and abetted by theologians, have accomplished that feat. Whatever might be said about Hauerwas—and there is plenty—no one has ever accused him of being boring, and in this book he delivers another jolt to all those who think that Christian theology is a matter of indifference to our secular society. At once Christian theology and social criticism, this book aims to show that the two cannot be separated. In this spirit, Hauerwas mounts a forceful attack on current sentimentalities about the significance of democracy, the importance of the family, and compassion, which appears here as a literally fatal virtue. In this time of the decline of religious knowledge, when knowing a little about a religion tends to do more harm than good, Hauerwas offers direction to those who would make Christian discourse both useful and truthful. Animated by a deep commitment, his essays exhibit the difference that Christian theology can make in the shaping of lives and the world.
Liberation theology is a school of Roman Catholic thought which teaches that a primary duty of the church must be to promote social and economic justice. In this book, Christian Smith explains how and why the liberation theology movement emerged and succeeded when and where it did.
The republication of We Hold These Truths is but one indication of the continuing importance of the thought of John Courtney Murray for the Catholic Church in the United States. More than any other American theologian in this century, Fr. Murray developed a new understanding of the healthy relationship between religion and politics, church and state, in a democratic context.
Until now, however, the evolution of Murray's own thought in these matters has not been fully understood. Beginning with Murray's first forays into the public arena in the 1940s, Leon Hooper carefully plots Murray's movement away from the classical concepts of conscience and rights toward a more historical understanding of moral agency and of the church's necessary engagement with a pluralistic world.
Along the way, Fr. Hooper reveals in detail for the first time the importance of Bernard Lonergan's thought in moving Murray toward and then beyond his vital contribution to Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Liberty.
Employing social description, social scientific models, and rhetorical analysis, Alicia J. Batten argues that the letter of James is conversant with the topic of friendship within Greek and Roman literature, as well as within various texts of early Christianity. She illustrates how James drew upon some of the language and concepts related to friendship with an intriguing density to advocate resistance to wealth, avoidance of rich patrons, and reliance upon God.
Use of friendship, benefaction, and patronage as lenses through which James and related texts can be viewed
A strong case for how the letter appels to the language and ideas of friendship with regard to God's relationships with humans
Exploration of the relationship between the book of James and the teachings of Jesus
Handbook of Catholic Social Teaching employs a question and answer format, to better accentuate the response of the Church's message to the questions Catholics have about their social role and what the Church intends to teach about it. Written in consultation with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Handbook should take its place alongside the Catechism of the Social Doctrine of the Church on the shelf of informed Catholics as works that can inform what we believe and do in the public sphere.
The idea of a heavenly contract, uniting God and humanity in a bargain of salvation, emerged as the keystone of Puritan theology in early modern England. Yet this concept, with its connotations of exchange and reciprocity, runs counter to other tenets of Calvinism, such as predestination, that were also central to Puritan thought. With bold analytic intelligence, David Zaret explores this puzzling conflict between covenant theology and pure Calvinism. In the process he demonstrates that popular beliefs and activities had tremendous influence on Puritan religion.
Much like the rest of the country, American Catholics are politically divided, perhaps more so now than at any point in their history. In this learned but accessible work for scholars, students, and religious and lay readers, ethicist Julie Hanlon Rubio suggests that there is a way beyond red versus blue for orthodox and progressive Catholics. In a call for believers on both sides of the liberal-conservative divide to put aside labels and rhetoric, Rubio, a leading scholar in marriage and family for more than twenty years, demonstrates that common ground does exist in the local sphere between the personal and the political.
In Hope for Common Ground, Rubio draws on Catholic Social Thought to explore ways to bring Catholics together. Despite their differences, Catholics across the political spectrum can share responsibility for social sin and work within communities to contribute to social progress. Rubio expands this common space into in-depth discussions on family fragility, poverty, abortion, and end-of-life care. These four issues, though divisive, are part of a seamless worldview that holds all human life as sacred. Rubio argues that if those on different sides focus on what can be done to solve social problems in “the space between” or local communities, opposing sides will see they are not so far apart as they think. The common ground thus created can then lead to far-reaching progress on even the most divisive issues—and help quiet the discord tearing apart the Church.
How has Pentecostalism, a decidedly American form of Christian revivalism, managed to achieve such phenomenal religious ascendancy in a former British colony among people of predominately African descent? According to Diane J. Austin-Broos, Pentecostalism has flourished because it successfully mediates between two historically central yet often oppositional themes in Jamaican religious life—the characteristically African striving for personal freedom and happiness, and the Protestant struggle for atonement and salvation through rigorous ethical piety. With its emphasis on the individual experience of grace and on the ritual efficacy of spiritual healing, and with its vibrantly expressive worship, Jamaican Pentecostalism has become a powerful and compelling vehicle for the negotiation of such fundamental issues as gender, sexuality, race, and class. Jamaica Genesis is a work of signal importance to all those concerned not simply with Caribbean studies but with the ongoing transformation of religion andculture.
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 also illuminates the conflicts behind and development of Catholic moral teaching during the volatile 1960s.
Ford is best known for his influential contribution to Catholic teachings on three moral issues. His objection to the Allied practice of obliteration bombing during WWII by drawing a sharp distinction between combatants and noncombatants is still studied widely today. Ford campaigned for alcohol education for both clergy and laity and introduced a pastoral approach for assisting and counseling alcoholics. As a member of the Papal Commission on Population, Family, and Birth Rate during the 1960s, Ford was an unyielding defender of the traditional Catholic teaching on birth control that still reigns today.
Drawing on the published works and personal papers of Ford, Eric Genilo begins with a brief description of the theologian's life, career, and influence. The book is divided into two parts. In Part I, Method, Genilo offers an overview of Ford's moral theology in the "manualist" tradition—a 300-year period during which Catholic priests used manuals to instruct the faithful on matters of morality and sin. Genilo then examines Ford's two modes of resolving moral cases and presents Ford's approach to doctrinal development. In Part II, Moral Objectivity, Genilo shows how Ford confronted the growing situation ethics movement, then moves to how he understood freedom and subjective culpability, particularly in the case of alcoholism. Later chapters reveal Ford's theological conflicts with Josef Fuchs, SJ on the issue of birth control, his staunch opposition to totalitarianism, and his moral analysis of how society should treat marginalized persons threatened by the abuse of power.
Genilo concludes with an assessment of Ford's legacy to the development and practice of moral theology, leaving the reader with an in-depth portrait of an extraordinary man who dedicated his life to defending the Church and protecting the most vulnerable persons in society.
To survive in an often disapproving external social world, the LDS Church has made many adaptive changes in belief, practice, and organization over time. Gordon and Gary Shepherd identify and elucidate these changes through statistical analysis of the rhetoric from General Conference proceedings in their book. The first edition of A Kingdom Transformed, published in 1984, covered the years 1830 to 1979. This new edition revises this earlier work and adds to it by examining the subsequent thirty years of LDS church rhetoric revealing what new trends have emerged and what old ones have continued. It retains the summary and analysis of data from the first 150 years of LDS Church history, but every chapter, including the narrative history of early Mormonism, has been thoroughly rewritten with updated theoretical and empirical support from contemporary research sources.
The first edition showed how early twentieth century LDS leaders were fairly liberal in mainstreaming church doctrines and social teaching, but by mid-twentieth century, as the church became more stable, accepted, and successful, church authorities reversed several earlier modifications and began emphasizing a stricter, more conservative theology that coincided with an increasingly conservative political orientation. The new book adds current issues of concern, such as the role of women in the church and international growth versus member retention. It also introduces a new conceptual framework for interpreting findings.
As western economies have moved from feudalism to industrialism to the information age, Catholic social thought has kept pace, responding to the economic realities of the day. Linking Catholic social teaching with modern economic theory, Albino F. Barrera examines the changing political economy embedded within the moral theology and social justice documents issued by the Church during the last hundred years.
Barrera discusses the evolution of Catholic social teachings, from scholastic thinking on the concept of the "just price" to a modern emphasis on the importance of a living wage. As the conduct of economic life according to traditional custom and common law has given way to institutional and impersonal market forces, these teachings have moved from a preoccupation with personal moral behavior to an intense scrutiny of the structures of society. Amidst these changes, the Church's social documents have sought to address systemic shortcomings as a means of promoting the common good through economic justice.
Barrera also looks ahead to the challenges posed by a postindustrial society characterized by a global, knowledge-based economy, arguing that Catholic social thought will likely shift its focus from advocacy of the living wage to demands for greater equality of socioeconomic participation. Written for scholars and students of economics, theology, and political science interested in religious social thought, this book bridges the gap between moral theology and economic theory.
With an equal emphasis on every word in the title—and with a distinctly American perspective—Himes and his distinguished associate editors and contributors, have assembled the most thorough and authoritative assessment of modern Roman Catholic social teaching to date, likely to remain the touchstone volume for decades. This culmination of many years of effort by twenty stellar scholars has produced a reference work for anyone interested in understanding or studying the key documents that comprise the central corpus of Catholic social teaching.
In addition to interrogations of the major documents, this volume provides an understanding of the biblical and philosophical foundations of Catholic social teaching, addresses the doctrinal issues that arise in such a context, and explores the social thought leading up to the "modern" era, generally accepted as beginning in 1891 with the publication of Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum. Finally, there is a review of how Catholic social teaching has been received in the United States, and an informed look at the shortcomings and questions that future generations must address.
By any standard, Modern Catholic Social Teaching is a remarkable work—intellectually rigorous and deeply faithful, it provides accessible and thought-provoking insights into the heart of a belief tradition that every Catholic will find invaluable.
This intellectual and social history is the first comprehensive biography of Pilgram Marpeck (c. 1495–1556), a radical reformer and lay leader of Anabaptist groups in Switzerland, Austria, and South Germany. Marpeck’s influential life and work provide a glimpse of the theologies and practices of the Roman Church and of various reform movements in sixteenth-century Europe. Drawing on extensive archival data documenting Marpeck’s professional life, as well as on his numerous published and unpublished writings on theology and religious reform, Stephen B. Boyd traces Marpeck’s unconventional transition from mining magistrate to Anabaptist leader, establishes his connections with various radical social and religious groups, and articulates aspects of his social theology. Marpeck’s distinctive and eclectic theology, Boyd demonstrates, focused on the need for personal, uncoerced conversion, rejected state interference in the affairs of the church, denied the need for a monastic withdrawal from the secular world, and called for the Christian’s active pursuit of justice before God and among human beings.
The United States was founded on a commitment to religious tolerance. Based on this commitment, it has become one of the most religiously diverse and religiously observant liberal democracies in the world. Inherent in this political reality is the question, "What is the appropriate relationship between religious beliefs and public life?" This is not a new question, but in contemporary US politics it has become a particularly insistent one. In this intelligent, wide-ranging book, Kristin Heyer provides new and nuanced answers.
Prophetic and Public employs the discourse of public theology to consider what constitutes appropriate religio-political engagement. According to Heyer, public theology connects religious faith, concepts, and practices to their public relevance for the wider society. Her use of public theology concepts to address the appropriate possibilities and limits for religio-political engagement in the United States is both useful and enlightening.
Heyer approaches the relationship between public morality and religious commitment through the example of the Catholic Church. She looks at two prominent Catholics—Michael Baxter and Bryan Hehir—as a way of discussing norms for practice of public theology. Heyer also analyzes case studies of three US Catholic advocacy groups: The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, NETWORK, and Pax Christi USA. Through her analysis she shows the various ways that the organizations' Catholic identity impacts their social and political efforts. From her investigations come norms that define possibilities and limits for political actions based on religious conviction.
This deeply thoughtful book examines what is truly fundamental and inescapable about public life and private religious belief in the United States. In doing so, it makes skillful use of the tools of theology, philosophy, law, and advocacy to demonstrate that the Catholic Church reveals great diversity in its public theology, providing legitimate options for a faithful response to urgent political issues.
Can writings of the church fathers related to the field of social ethics be of value to contemporary discussions on the topic? In addressing this question, the authors of this book discuss the exciting challenges that scholars of both early Christianity and contemporary Catholic social thought face regarding the interaction of historical sources and present issues.
Religion, Order, and Law
David Little University of Chicago Press, 1984 Library of Congress BR757.L66 1984 | Dewey Decimal 306.6
"The issue of the Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism has been debated endlessly, but few scholars have seriously continued Weber's own research into the Reformation sources of seventeenth-century England. David Little's study was one of the first to do so, and remains an important contribution."—Guenther Roth, University of Washington
The history of Christianity in America has been marked by recurring periods of religious revivals or awakenings. In this book, George M. Thomas addresses the economic and political context of evangelical revivalism and its historical linkages with economic expansion and Republicanism in the nineteenth century. Thomas argues that large-scale change results in social movements that articulate new organizations and definitions of individual, society, authority, and cosmos. Drawing on religious newspapers, party policies and agendas, and quantitative analyses of voting patterns and census data, he claims that revivalism in this period framed the rules and identities of the expanding market economy and the national policy.
"Subtle and complex. . . . Fascinating."—Randolph Roth, Pennsylvania History
"[Revivalism and Cultural Change] should be read with interest by those interested in religious movements as well as the connections among religion, economics, and politics."—Charles L. Harper, Contemporary Sociology
"Readers old and new stand to gain much from Thomas's sophisticated study of the macrosociology of religion in the United States during the nineteenth century. . . . He has given the sociology of religion its best quantitative study of revivalism since the close of the 1970s."—Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
In this penetrating study of urban religion, Gary Schwartz examines the nature of the relationship between religious belief and the social order. He shows how a person's experience in the social hierarchy shapes his response to competing religious ideologies and, in turn, how commitment to a particular sect ideology colors his attitude toward mundane affairs.
The author studied and compared a Pentecostal group and a Seventh-day Adventist group in preparation for this work. The question which stimulated the investigation can be stated as a paradox. In the Adventist case, why should persons who firmly believe that God is soon to destroy the world work so diligently and against formidable odds to improve their own secular fortunes? In the Pentecostal case, why should persons who believe that God is available for direct aid in every human contingency not use this power for their own advancement?
In theorizing about the relationship between an individual's position in the socioeconomic system and his sect affiliation, Mr. Schwartz asserts that the specifically ideological component of a creed resides in the ways in which believers conceptualize the meaning of secular problems.
The study as a whole attempts to reveal what makes a special set of beliefs attractive to a person grappling with certain secular exigencies, and how these beliefs affect his view of secular matters. It develops a model of a religious ideology applicable to any study of the relationship between cultural symbols and social structure.
Luigi Taparelli, SJ, 1793-1862, in his Theoretical Treatise of Natural Right Based on Fact, 1840-43, presents a neo-Thomistic approach to social, economic, and political sciences grounded in an integral conception of the human person as social animal but also as rational truth seeker. His conceptions of social justice and of subsidiarity are fundamental to modern Catholic social teaching (CST). His work moves away from traditionalist-conservative reaction in favor of an authentically human, moderately liberal, modernity built on the harmony of faith and reason. He zealously deconstructs laissez-faire liberal ideology and its socialist progeny in scores of articles in the Civiltà Cattolica, the journal that he co-founded in 1850. His arguments figure prominently in the Syllabus of Errors (1864) of Pius IX. Though a moderate liberal himself, his reputation as anti-liberal reactionary and defender of Papal temporal sovereignty is the chief reason why Pope Leo XIII later sought to quiet Taparelli’s contribution to the foundations and pillars of modern CST that began with the restoration of Thomistic philosophy in Aeterni Patris (1879), and the “magna carta” of modern Catholic social teaching, Rerum Novarum (1891). Pius XI relies heavily on Taparelli’s concept of subsidiarity in Quadragesimo Anno (1931), and sought to advance interest in Taparelli studies. However, Taparelli’s eclectic philosophical orientation and writing style have been a considerable stumbling block. In this present book, Taparelli’s ideas are evaluated both for their philosophical character but also in their historical context. Taparelli’s theories of the just society and ordered liberty, are as timely nowadays for reasoned political and ethical discourse as ever. The book includes an appendix of translated portions of the Theoretical Treatise of Natural Right Based on Fact that relate to subsidiarity.
What do Christians do with the Bible? How do theyùindividually and collectivelyùinteract with the sacred texts? Why does this engagement shift so drastically among and between social, historical, religious, and institutional contexts? Such questions are addressed in a most enlightening, engaging, and original way in The Social Life of Scriptures.
Contributors offer a collection of closely analyzed and carefully conducted ethnographic and historical case studies, covering a range of geographic, theological, and cultural territory, including: American evangelicals and charismatics; Jamaican Rastafarians; evangelical and Catholic Mayans; Northern Irish charismatics; Nigerian Anglicans; and Chinese evangelicals in the United States.
The Social Life of Scriptures is the first book to present an eclectic, cross-cultural, and comparative investigation of Bible use. Moreover, it models an important movement to outline a framework for how scriptures are implicated in organizing social structures and meanings, with specific foci on gender, ethnicity, agency, and power.
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 aspects: the importance of social mission, who carries it out, how it is carried out, and the roles that the Church and individual Catholics play in supporting these efforts.
In the early and mid-twentieth century the Catholic Church in the United States tended to focus its social mission on its own charities, hospitals, and schools. But the Second Vatican Council called the Church to a new understanding of social mission, deepening its involvement in and commitment to civic, social, and political life in the United States and abroad. Curran devotes particular attention to three issues that have reflected the Church's strong sense of social mission since that time: abortion, war and peace, and labor.
The Social Mission of the U.S. Catholic Church describes the proper role of bishops, institutions, and movements in the Church, but insists that the primary role belongs to all the baptized members of the Church as they live out the social mission in their daily lives.
Taking Faith Seriously
Mary Jo. Bane Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress BR517.T35 2005 | Dewey Decimal 261.80973
Whether simply uneasy or downright hostile, the relation between religion and liberal democracy in this country has long been vexed and complex--and crucial to what America is and aspires to be. Amid increasingly contentious exchanges over fundamentalism, abortion rights, secularism, and pluralism, this book reminds us of the critical role that religion plays in the health and well-being of a democracy.
A comprehensive historical study of the complete content and overall coherence of two and a half centuries of papal instructions that have variously aroused worldwide interest, scorn, fury, reaction, and consent. It provides the kind of analysis that concerned Roman Catholics, public officials, social ethicists, theologians, and students need. It is a textually inclusive and topically broad-gauged review of Catholic social teaching in its historical development, with a forthright assessment of its regrettable contradictions as well as of its valuable consistencies.
This collection presents a representative sample of the writings of three of the six Jesuits who were slain in El Salvador on November 16, 1989. Although little known in the United States, these men were significant scholars who possessed an original conception of the university. They affirmed in difficult circumstances, the pursuit and teaching of truth as a collaborative, collegial process that transcends international boundaries.
Over the course of the twentieth century, evangelicals have in a variety of ways adjusted their world view to accommodate the changes in modern life. At the same time, there are important continuities between the ideas and attitudes of evangelicals in the 1920s and those of the late 1970s. Little attention has actually been paid to changes in this important social and political group since the Scopes trial and the election of 1976, when evangelical concerns played a major role in national politics. David Watt, in this readable and persuasive book, examines what happened in that fifty-year period. This book is an intellectual history of the evangelical movement in the period of its rise to prominence and power.
What Watt finds is that changes were more striking than continuities. Many of these changes manifested themselves in shifts of focus--from an emphasis on the second coming of Christ to the family, from privatization to politicization of religious concerns, from an antipathy to therapeutic practices to an acceptance of many of the assumptions of modern psychology. Watt believes that evangelicalism, as every other "ism," is subject to the influence of conflicting ideologies.
The book explores ideas and attitudes, not practice. It is based on the popular literature produced by evangelicals. In many ways it does not develop and prove a thesis; rather, it puts what we think we know about the experience of evangelicalism in this country into the context of the lives of evangelicals themselves.
The single most important change now well under way within Catholicism is its transition from a First World to a Third World entity. How this enormous shift will affect the Catholic church's role in the world economy is the subject of Michael L. Budde's book, the first world systems study of the mutual interaction of religion and political economy in the 1990s. Budde's argument here is twofold. He contends that world Catholicism, led by its Third World majority (most notably in Latin America), will continue to develop in an increasingly anticapitalist direction; and he suggests that once-dominant First World Catholic churches (exemplified by the U.S. Catholic church), are poorly placed to respond in solidarity with their coreligionists from the Third World. Covering a wide range of theoretical and substantive matters, The Two Churches examines religion as a source of both social legitimation and social rebellion. It demonstrates the importance of ecclesiology, a branch of theology dealing with "theories of the church," and it highlights the effect of capitalism on world Catholicism, as well as the latter's influence on the development of the capitalist order. In his original, far-reaching analysis of the Catholic church's role in world affairs, Budde revises current views of religious institutions as subordinate social phenomena. By relating developments in the world political economy to material conditions in the Third World and in turn to the practice of Catholicism, he reveals how the Catholic church functions as a worldwide institution. He also shows how core-periphery conflicts within the church affect transnational capitalism. As the Third World becomes more and more volatile, and as its relations with the First World further complicate the politics of the Catholic church, the questions addressed in The Two Churches demand attention with increasing urgency. Timely, thoughtful, and lucid, this book will inform and enhance our understanding of this complex, pressing issue.