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  • Of cassocks and men. Gendered subjection and politics of masculinity within the French Catholic clergy since the 1980s

    Laboratoire d'Etudes de Genre et de Sexualité (LEGS) ; Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis (UP8)-Université Paris Nanterre (UPN)-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS); Université paris 8; Éric Fassin; TRICOU, Josselin (HAL CCSD, 2019-06-06)
    At the crossroads of political sociology of Catholicism and gender studies, this thesis interrogates the downgrading of the figure of the Catholic priest in the space of masculinities within Western societies, that is to say In a context of the Catholic Church’s sharply decreasing authority and sexual democratization which increase it. The thesis first analyzes the effects of a symbolic disqualification of priestly masculinity in social representations, a disqualification that simultaneously unsettles a hitherto well-kept institutional secret: that of the over-representation of homosexuals in the clergy and the clerical institution's function as a "closet". Yet, far from being a deterrent, the Vatican's aggressive discourse against homosexuality has had the paradoxical effect of attracting even more homosexual candidates to the priesthood, while the vocation had largely been deserted by heterosexuals after having been deserted by the working classes. Hence the idea that we have witnessed since the 1980s, without always knowing it, a "great criss-crossing of sexualities at the doors of the sacristies". However invisible, even to those concerned, the social function of the clerical body as a refuge for non-heterosexual people has become transparent to itself from the 1990s onwards in societies that gave up imposing the closet on the "otherwise sexualized" (the LGBTQI).The thesis then analyzes the efforts of the Catholic apparatus to counter this disqualification through the implementation of policies of masculinity. Gender and sexuality then appear for what they are: places of expression of power within the institution, a field of struggles to maintain the institution's position within society and, finally, the object of policies implemented by its agents to maintain their position to the Church and the commitment of the believers.In conclusion, the thesis asserts that the obsession with masculinity for a priesthood that continues to exclude women has led the Catholic Church, in the same movement, to make homosexuality an essential problem and to overlook what, outside the Church, has appeared, in the era of sexual democracy, to be the real issue: not only homophobia, but also sexist and sexual violence.
  • The preferential option for the poor as an exppression of social love

    Surmiak, Wojciech (2020-06-22)
    This article presents the issue of the preferential option for the poor that appears
 to be a natural consequence of the social love. At first the author presents poverty
 as an expression of a great injustice in the world and later on points at historic origins
 and evolution of the preferential option for the poor presented in the Catholic
 social teaching. In the final part of the article the author reflects upon the question,
 whether the option for the poor is a theological passe, or still constitutes a living
 element of the social teaching of the Church especially with its regards to relation
 between justice and love.
  • Tradition and the other : the authority of tradition within the context of a contested ecclesia : a Catholic foundational theology.

    Cochrane, James R.; Rakoczy, Susan Francis.; Walker, Megan Anne. (2012-07-09)
    Thesis (Ph.D.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 1997.
  • Women and religious racisms in Inverclyde: feminised intra-Christian sectarianism and gendered Islamophobia

    Rosie, Michael; Jamieson, Lynn; Riga, Liliana; Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); Lindores, Sara Diane (The University of Edinburgh, 2020-06-26)
    This thesis re-problematises the issue of intra-Christian sectarianism from the
 standpoints of women from different denominational backgrounds, social classes
 and age groups. It foregrounds alternative gendered knowledge, situated within
 private and familial spheres, to provide a less partial picture of sectarianism which
 has traditionally been associated with male-dominated concerns such as Scottish
 football. It reveals processes of feminised intra-Christian sectarianism, which
 construct Catholic women and girls as racialised outsiders in ways that are
 simultaneously gendered and classed. A new definition of feminised sectarianism
 is proposed with a view to enabling future research and practice to tackle this
 issue, in ways that are better attuned to the gendered sectarianisation of
 boundaries.
 The empirical data are based on nine months of community fieldwork in
 Inverlcyde, from across eighteen biographical narrative and semi-structured
 interviews, to research issues of religious difference through the lens of different
 women’s everyday lives. It employs narrative analysis and a feminist intersectional
 approach to answer the following research questions: what are the boundaries of
 ethnic and religious belonging in Scotland? How are these boundaries
 transmitted? How do women think, act and feel about religious difference? And
 are there negative judgements of the ‘other’ or a ranking of one’s own gendered
 cultural and religious norms and values as superior?
 Overall, it argues that the continual expression and validation of the ethnic and
 religious boundaries of belonging operate across three connected levels. Firstly,
 rhetorically, at the level of ideas, drawing selectively on historical scripts and
 contemporary discourses to reproduce identity narratives in everyday life on which
 ethnic and religious differences can be continually (re)built. Secondly, overtly,
 through mobilising visible signs and signals such as the institutional markers of
 separate denominational schools or the Orange Order to provide legitimacy for
 these historical ideas about religious difference. And, thirdly, covertly, through
 invoking subjective beliefs about basic value orientations such as perceived
 differences in gendered cultural and religious norms to (re)produce, create and
 maintain ethnic and religious boundaries in more subtle ways. Focusing on these different levels at which the boundary appears to be maintained emphasises the
 subjective, discursive, ideational and attitudinal processes that reproduce
 religious differences not on the sum of overt markers of difference. In other words,
 it sheds light on how groups categorise themselves - on how issues such as
 sectarianism are reproduced inter-generationally - by shifting the focus to the
 various social processes of inclusion and exclusion that appear to enable discrete
 ethnic and religious categories and dichotomies to be maintained over time.
 Finally, a conscious decision to use the broader language of ‘religious difference’
 rather than the term ‘sectarianism’ also revealed participants’ emotional reactions
 to the presence of ‘new’ Muslim ‘outsiders’. This is likely because interviews took
 place in the run up to the EU Referendum, a time of heightened social and political
 tension over issues of immigration. Therefore, analysing Catholic women’s
 experiences of sectarianism revealed many similarities between their own
 experiences and the processes that they themselves also used to racialise Muslim
 women as the ‘new’ outsiders to the nation.
 As such, this thesis makes a timely and contemporary contribution to existing
 research in the field. It argues that like all religious racisms, feminised intra-Christian sectarianism in Scotland operates on a contingent intersectional
 hierarchy of belonging. This hierarchy is imagined relative to a ‘superior’ white,
 masculine, middle-class, Protestant subjectivity. The number of children that
 women from ethnic and religious minorities have, their relationships with men, and
 their sexuality more broadly, can be politicised by others in ways that racialise on
 account of the overlapping characteristics of social class, gender and perceived
 religious identity. Gendered and classed respectability politics can thus be
 mobilised against minority women and girls in ways that racialise the boundaries
 of belonging. Entrenched patriarchal values and gendered cultural and religious
 norms help to sustain these different modalities of racism, precisely because the
 boundary of the ethnic is often deeply reliant on gender
  • Discerning God’s will

    Vella, Arthur G. (University of Malta. Faculty of Theology, 2017)
    The expression “discerning God’s will” has been quite a household word in
 spiritual and religious circles and, particularly so, since the Second Vatican
 Council. This is not because the Council issued any particular document about
 discernment. Its teaching, however, as deeply rooted in Revelation, Tradition and
 Scripture found particularly strong inspiration in Pope John XXIII’s charismatic
 call to the whole Church to “read the signs of the times.”2 The Council Fathers,
 taking to heart these prophetic words of the Lord, worked hard to discern what
 the Spirit of God was calling the Church to. The Vatican Council Constitutions
 and Decrees, being the benchmark against which to judge the reform of Catholic
 pastoral practice, are still urgently calling the Christian Community to shake off
 much dust gathered over the years and to strenuously commit to live and witness
 the vitality, freshness and joy of the Gospel.

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