Islam, Catholicism and Modernity: Evangelii Gaudium and Muslim-Christian Dialogue

Christian-Muslim relations have followed a sinuous path throughout the centuries. At times they have provided reason for hope, and at others they have encountered stumbling blocks in the path to mutual understanding. The Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium is presented on both sides as a new step in the history of Christian-Muslim understanding. Read the full article »

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A New Beginning

Evangelii Gaudium goes beyond providing an introduction to interreligious dialogue from the perspective of the new “Poverello” of Rome, Pope Francis. It is, and I feel sure of this, an emphatic proposal for interreligious dialogue to be reframed as a duty for religious communities, and an essential condition to the establishment and maintenance of peace in the world. Read the full article »

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Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Modern World

Since his election in March 2013, Pope Francis has aroused enthusiasm and raised the hopes of many through the articulation and lived example of his vision of a Church open to dialogue with the modern world. Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, is no exception, delivering an even more explicit invitation for the Church to avoid entrenchment. Read the full article »

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Woman and Her Complementary Relationship to Man

In response to the stirring invitation issued by Paola Bernardini to offer a theological account of the complementarity of women and men “without jeopardizing their equality,” I would like to take a close look at both the complementary relationship and equality of the sexes from a biblical perspective. To do so, I would like to begin at the beginning, as it were, with the Genesis account of the creation of man and woman.

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Debating the Status of Women in Tunisia

As noted in a previous post on the Contending Modernities blog by Michael Driessen, post-authoritarian Tunisia has become the site of fascinating debate between contending modernities — one being self-consciously Islamist and democratic and the other being assertively secular and liberal. One battlefield where the conflict is currently fiercest is the status of women.

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Which Language, Whose Vernacular?: Vatican II and Liturgical Politics in Bangalore (Part 3)

This post is the third in a three-part series on the sometimes violent liturgical battles that have been waged in the Catholic Church in Bangalore, India, since the reforms of Vatican II. Though the Second Vatican Council began fifty years ago this year, conflicts about the place of Bangalore’s diversity of vernacular languages in the Church’s liturgy remain unresolved to this day. Part 1 recounted the origins of the conflict in the 1960s. Part 2 picked up the story at the beginning of the 1970s. Part 3, the present post, takes the story to the present day, drawing out its ironic implications for Catholic modernity and the Church’s modern “reforms.”

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Which Language, Whose Vernacular?: Vatican II and Liturgical Politics in Bangalore (Part 2)

This post is the second in a three-part series on the sometimes violent liturgical battles that have been waged in the Catholic Church in Bangalore, India, since the reforms of Vatican II. Though the Second Vatican Council began fifty years ago this year, conflicts about the place of Bangalore’s diversity of vernacular languages in the Church’s liturgy remain unresolved to this day. Part 1 recounted the origins of the conflict in the 1960s. Part 2 picks up the story at the beginning of the 1970s.

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