The Church and the World: Secular Morality and the Challenge of Gender

The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) marked an historic turn in the Catholic Church's relationship with the secular world. The Church unequivocally embraced the idea of universal human rights, including the right to religious freedom, and embraced dialogue with wider currents in society.

Fifty years later, as the Church continues to engage in this dialogue, it faces mounting questions on gender issues. In this Berkley Center lecture José Casanova, professor of sociology and senior fellow in the Berkley Center, critiqued the Church's response to demands for women's equality both within its ranks and within the wider society. In this area and others, he argued, constructive engagement with positive trends in secular morality can help bolster the Church's moral authority on both sides of the Atlantic.

related | Lecture text

back to top