Forward to Catholicism and Religious Freedom: Renewing the Church in the Second Vatican Council
Author: José Casanova
December 20, 2018
In the forward to Catholicism and Religious Freedom: Renewing the Church in the Second Vatican Council, José Casanova writes that the book offers what is arguably the most comprehensive account of the tortuous road through which the Catholic Church arrived at the official recognition of the modern principle of religious freedom as an inalienable individual human right grounded in the sacred dignity of the human person. Casanova then describes how the book reconstructs the historical path that led Catholicism to the recognition of religious freedom. He notes that the book's argument is still framed within a predominantly German and Western European perspective, which fails to recognize the impact of other global Catholic peripheries on the council's work. Casanova concludes that the Second Vatican Council exemplified the Catholic Church as a global church in dialogue with global humanity, a church scrutinizing prophetically global trends decades before those ideas became platitudes in global media and in social science jargon.