Church and People: Disjunctions in a Secular Age

Author: José Casanova

May 1, 2012

In Church and People: Disjunctions in a Secular Age, editors Charles Taylor, José Casanova, and George F. McLean compile a series of essays that address the tension between contemporary individualism and the social context of belief provided by the Catholic Church. Casanova's chapter, "The Contemporary Disjunction between Secular and Church Morality," notes that since the eighteenth century, morality has moved from society to the Catholic Church. Casanova cites the continuing significance of three issues: ordination of women, gender and sexual morality, and the common moral outrage at the perceived concern of the Church to protect its own institutional reputation over the safety of its children. According to Casanova, the disjunction between societal and Church morality demonstrates that the Church's pre-modern self-understanding predicated upon evoking a sense of transcendence has become, in the modern world, a dangerous model leading to criminal misbehavior.

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