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How can religion contribute to democracy in a secular age? What can the millennia-old Catholic tradition say to church-state controversies in the United States and around the world? Secularism, Catholicism, and the Future of Public Life, presents a dialogue between Douglas W. Kmiec, a prominent scholar of American constitutional law and Catholic legal thought, and an international cast of experts from a range of fields. In his essay, "Secularism Crucified?," Kmiec illustrates the profound tensions around religion and secularism through an examination of the Lautsi case, a European judicial decision that supported the presence of crucifixes in Italian classrooms. Laying out a church-state typology, Kmiec argues for clarifying U.S. church-state jurisprudence, and advances principles to prudently limit the over-stretching impulse of religious conscience claims. In the process, he engages secular thinkers, popes, U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and President Barack Obama. The respondents, scholars of legal theory, international relations, journalism, religion, and social science, challenge Kmiec and illustrate ways in which both scholars and citizens should understand religion, democracy, and secularism. Their essays bring together current events in Catholic life, recent social theory, and issues such as migration, the Arab Spring, and social change.
In Enlightenment and Revolutionary France, new and pressing arguments emerged in the long debate over clerical celibacy. Appeals for the abolition of celibacy were couched primarily in the language of nature, social utility, and the patrie. The attack only intensified after the legalization of priestly marriage during the Revolution, as marriage and procreation were considered patriotic duties. Some radical revolutionaries who saw celibacy as a crime against nature and the nation aggressively promoted clerical marriage by threatening unmarried priests with deportation, imprisonment, and even death. After the Revolution, political and religious authorities responded to the vexing problem of reconciling the existence of several thousand married French priests with the formal reestablishment of Roman Catholicism and clerical celibacy. Unnatural Frenchmen examines how this extremely divisive issue shaped religious politics, the lived experience of French clerics, and gendered citizenship. Drawing on a wide base of printed and archival material, including thousands of letters that married priests wrote to the pope, historian Claire Cage highlights individual as well as ideological struggles. Unnatural Frenchmen provides important insights into how conflicts over priestly celibacy and marriage have shaped the relationship between sexuality, religion, and politics from the age of Enlightenment to today, while simultaneously revealing the story of priestly marriage to be an inherently personal and deeply human one.
Be uplifted and inspired as Sr. Terry Rickard, O.P., president of RENEW International, guides you through Lent and Holy Week with thought-provoking spiritual reflections on the daily gospel readings in Daily Devotions for Lent 2021. Rickard also encourages you to go beyond prayer and fasting by completing a quick spiritual act that will help you grow in your love for God and others during this solemn season.
The Living Gospel series of devotionals for Lent and Advent offers spiritual insight and practical wisdom from popular Catholic preachers, speakers, and homilists. A new voice each season and a simple format invite Catholics to hear and embrace the living Word of God.
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