Globalizing Catholicism and the Return to a "Universal" Church

Author: José Casanova

January 1, 1997

In "Globalizing Catholicism and the Return to a 'Universal' Church" Casanova analyzes the changes in the transnational nature of the Roman Catholic Church throughout history. Casanova argues that the Church could only become truly transnational after the incorporation of the Papal States into the Kingdom of Italy, allowing the papacy to focus on spiritual leadership, rather than territorial integrity. In addition, Casanova draws a comparison between the Medieval Church and the current Church, saying that the Church and Pope became less transnational in the early modern era. Casanova specifically points to papal supremacy, the centralization and internationalization of the Church leadership, the ecumenical councils, transnational religious cadres, missionary activity, schools and networks, shrines, and transnational religious movements as developments tying the two time periods together. This chapter is included in the book Transitional Religion and Fading States (edited by Susanne H. Rudolph and James Piscatori).

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