The Catholic Church and the Nation-State: Comparative Perspectives

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Georgetown University Press, 2006 - Religion - 298 pages
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Presenting case studies from sixteen countries on five continents, The Catholic Church and the Nation-State paints a rich portrait of a complex and paradoxical institution whose political role has varied historically and geographically. In this integrated and synthetic collection of essays, outstanding scholars from the United States and abroad examine religious, diplomatic, and political actions -- both admirable and regrettable -- that shape our world. Kenneth R. Himes sets the context of the book by brilliantly describing the political influence of the church in the post-Vatican II era. There are many recent instances, the contributors assert, where the Church has acted as both a moral authority and a self-interested institution: in the United States it maintained unpopular moral positions on issues such as contraception and sexuality, yet at the same time it sought to cover up its own abuses; it was complicit in genocide in Rwanda but played an important role in ending the horrific civil war in Angola; and it has alternately embraced and suppressed nationalism by acting as the voice of resistance against communism in Poland, whereas in Chile it once supported opposition to Pinochet but now aligns with rightist parties.

With an in-depth exploration of the five primary challenges facing the Church -- theology and politics, secularization, the transition from serving as a nationalist voice of opposition, questions of justice, and accommodation to sometimes hostile civil authorities -- this book will be of interest to scholars and students in religion and politics as well as Catholic Church clergy and laity. By demonstrating how national churches vary considerably in the emphasis of their teachings and in the scope and nature of their political involvement, the analyses presented in this volume engender a deeper understanding of the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the world.

 

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Contents

Vatican II and Contemporary Politics
15
The Vatican as a Transnational Actor
33
THE CHALLENGE OF SECULARIZATION
51
The Latin European Church Une Messe Est Possible
53
The American Church Of Being Catholic and American
69
The Chilean Church Declining Hegemony?
89
THE CHALLENGE OF OPPOSITION
101
The Polish Church Catholic Hierarchy and Polish Politics
103
The Angolan Church The Prophetic Tradition Politics and the State
191
The Challenge of Accommodation
207
The Indian Church Catholicism and Indian Nationhood
209
The Chinese Catholic Church Obstacles to Reconciliation
227
The Congolese Church Ecclesial Community within the Political Community
245
Vatican Documents with Relevance to ChurchState Issues
259
APPENDIX B RELIGIOUS CONCENTRATION OF THE COUNTRIES CONSIDERED IN THIS VOLUME
261
Timeline of Significant Events in the Life of the Roman Catholic Church 1800 to the Present
263

The Catholic Church in Ireland and Northern Ireland Nationalism Identity and Opposition
117
The East Timorese Church From Oppression to Liberation
131
THE CHALLENGE OF JUSTICE
149
The Brazilian Church Reintegrating Ontology and Epistemology
151
The Rwandan Church The Challenge of Reconciliation
173
World Values Survey How Important Is Religion in Your Life?
265
Contributors
269
Index
271
Copyright

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Page 43 - The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these too are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.
Page 37 - God his essential dignity and with it the capacity to transcend every social order so as to move towards truth and goodness. But he is also conditioned by the social structure in which he lives, by the education he has received and by his environment. These elements can either help or hinder his living in accordance with the truth. The decisions which create a human environment can give rise to specific structures of sin which impede the full realization of those who are in any way oppressed by them....
Page 37 - To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel.
Page 36 - Strata of humanity which are transformed: for the Church it is a question not only of preaching the Gospel in ever wider geographic areas or to ever greater numbers of people, but also of affecting and as it were upsetting, through the power of the Gospel, mankind's criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines of thought, sources of inspiration and models of life, which are in contrast with the Word of God and the plan of salvation.
Page 36 - imperialism' were considered in the light of these moral criteria, we would see that hidden behind certain decisions, apparently inspired only by economics or politics, are real forms of idolatry: of money, ideology, class, technology...

About the author (2006)

Paul Christopher Manuel is a professor of political science at Mount St. Mary's University and a research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.

Lawrence C. Reardon is a research associate at the John King Fairbanks Center for East Asian Studies at Harvard University and an associate professor of political science and coordinator of Asian studies at the University of New Hampshire.

Clyde Wilcox is professor of government at Georgetown University.

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