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Catholicism and Religious Freedom

Renewing the Church in the Second Vatican Council

Christian Spieß, Karl Gabriel und Katja Winkler

Diese Publikation zitieren

Christian Spieß, Karl Gabriel, Katja Winkler, Catholicism and Religious Freedom (2018), Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, 33098 Paderborn, ISBN: 9783657789009

Getrackt seit 05/2018


Beschreibung / Abstract

Just about fifty years ago, in its declaration on religious freedom at the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church programmatically dispensed with political coercion as a means of enforcing its claim to truth. This act of self-imposed restriction with regard to religious claims to truth is exceptional in the history of religions. It is still extremely difficult to explain even today how such a traditional institution as the Catholic Church could have altered its position so fundamentally. In this volume the authors dispute how the Church came to its position, what the reasons and motives were for its repositioning, what shape this process of change took, and the steps involved in the change: What were the characteristics, circumstances and dynamics of the path of Catholicism to recognizing religious freedom?


  • Cover
  • Titel
  • Impressum
  • Contents
  • José Casanova, Georgetown University: Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 Dignitatis humanae: Development of the Text. The Genesis of the Declaration of the Second Vatican Council on the Right of the Person and of Communities to Social and Civil Freedom in Matters Religious
  • 1.1 The Document of Fribourg (27 December 1960)
  • 1.2 The Second Document in the Preparatory Phase (18 June 1962)
  • 1.3 The First Conciliar Version of the Text (19 November 1963): The Fifth Chapter of the Decree on Ecumenism
  • 1.4 The Second Conciliar and First Independent Text Version: De libertate religiosa (23 September 1964)
  • 1.5 Religious Freedom at the Height of the Council Controversies: The Revised Text of the Declaration (17 November 1964)
  • 1.6 Further Uncertainty and Turbulent Discussions: The Fourth Conciliar Text Version (15 September 1965)
  • 1.7 On the Way to Promulgation? The Fifth Conciliar Version of the Text (18-25 October 1965)
  • 1.8 The Eighth Text on Religious Freedom in the Final Weeks of the Council (17-19 November 1965)
  • Chapter 2 Modernity – Religion – Catholicism
  • 2.1 The Concept of Modernity
  • 2.2 Religion and Modernity
  • 2.3 Catholicism and Modernity
  • 2.4 Summary
  • Chapter 3 Religious Freedom
  • 3.1 The Concept of Religious Freedom
  • 3.2 Religious Freedom in the Doctrine of the Catholic Church before the Second Vatican Council
  • 3.3 Religious Freedom as Interpreted by the Second Vatican Council
  • 3.4 Summary
  • Chapter 4 Continuity – Change – Break? Attempts at Explaining the Path Taken by Catholicism to Recognizing Religious Freedom
  • 4.1 Strict Continuity of Church Doctrine as a Theological Prerequisite: Arthur Fridolin Utz’s Thesis
  • 4.2 Autonomy and Theonomy: Walter Kasper’s Thesis of a Constitutional and a Theological Level
  • 4.3 Qualitative Change in the Course of a Learning Process: Rudolf Uertz’s Thesis of a Personal-Ethical Turn
  • 4.4 Transfer of Religious Freedom from Secular-rational Law into Catholic State Doctrine: Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde’s Thesis of a Break in Tradition
  • Chapter 5 Factors of Change
  • 5.1 National Socialism and the Second World War
  • 5.2 Declaration of Human Rights and Global Organizations
  • 5.3 Economic Development: The Golden Age, 1950 to 1973
  • 5.4 East-West Confrontation and Cold War
  • 5.5 US Catholicism and John C. Murray’s Contribution
  • 5.6 Plurality Internal to Catholicism
  • 5.7 Political Catholicism, Catholic Parties, and Christian Democracy
  • 5.8 The Catholic System of Clubs and Associations
  • 5.9 Council Dynamics and Papal Charisma
  • Chapter 6 The Path to Recognizing Religious Freedom as a Two-stage Learning Process
  • References
  • Acknowledgements

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