Posts Tagged ‘Vatican Council II’


John Fea on the American Bible Society

Happy bicentennial to the American Bible Society, celebrating its 200th year in operation on May 11, 2016. To celebrate, we invite historian John Fea (Messiah College) to discuss the history of the ABS and his recent book “The Bible Cause.” We track the changes to this quintessential American institution over time, emphasizing how it reflected and shaped our society over the past two centuries.

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Christopher Hale on Religion & Protest in Mexico

Prof. Christopher Hale (U of Alabama) discusses how religion is connected to political protest in Mexico. Building upon some foundational work in the religious economies school, he explains how institutional decentralization and lay leadership fosters socio-economic activism. He also addresses the role of ideology and religious competition.

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Keith Pavlischek on John Courtney Murray and Dignitatis Humanae

With the 50th anniversary of Dignitatis Humanae just past us, we visit with independent scholar Keith Pavlischek to discuss the life and thought of John Courtney Murray, a Jesuit priest who had a profound impact on how Catholics think about religious pluralism and liberty. We review the major document on religious freedom released at the Second Vatican Council and then discuss how Murray became involved in this debate after being prompted to think about religious freedom following a series of US Supreme Court decisions. We also reflect upon what Murray would have thought about our current church-state landscape.

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Ken Kollman on Church Centralization

Why do large institutions that begin as federated organizations tend to centralize authority in executive power? Prof. Ken Kollman (University of Michigan) explains his theory of executive centralization and applies it to the Roman Catholic Church. We discuss how the Church has centralized power in the Curia over the past 150 years and whether there are any counter-tendencies to such concentration of authority.

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James Felak on Vatican Council II

We are now in the midst of celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Second Vatican Council, which began in the fall of 1962 and lasted three years. Why was Vatican II called? What happened during this monumental gathering of Catholic prelates? And what impact has VCII had on the contemporary Church? Prof. James Felak, a popular guest on the show, returns to answer all of these questions and more. We explore the historical nature of Church councils and where Vatican II sits in the list of important councils.

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Gerald De Maio on the Electoral Religion Gap

With the election season heating up, we revisit the issue of whether religion plays a role in voting behavior in the United States. Prof. Gerald De Maio (Baruch College, CUNY) discusses his collaborative research with Louis Bolce on the “religion gap” in American politics. This research indicates that those who attend church more regularly, or who hold more orthodox religious views, tend to vote much differently than seculars. De Maio and Bolce’s research also shows how the media has failed to pick up on this electoral divide while touting other “gaps” — e.g., gender, age, soccer moms — that are much less salient when it comes to predicting election outcomes. We speculate how the “religion gap” will play out in the November 2012 elections.

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James Felak on Pope Pius XII, the Wartime Pontiff

In March of 1939, Eugenio María Giuseppe Pacelli became Pope Pius XII just days before the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia and months before Germany continued their march into Poland. Prof. James Felak (University of Washington) examines the life and times of Pope Pius XII and explores the controversy surrounding his papacy. Interestingly, we learn that criticism of Pope Pius XII’s actions only emerged two decades after World War II. Prof. Felak discusses the difficult diplomatic and moral situation that Pius XII found himself in during the war, lays out the logic of his actions, and then assesses the overall impact (including his post-war proclamations) of Pius XII’s papacy on the contemporary Church Church.

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Robert Sirico on Markets, Morality, Faith & Freedom

Rev. Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute discusses his new book, “Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy.” Our discussion delves into Fr. Sirico’s personal history, the nature of greed and envy, the role of profits in an economy, volutarism & individual charity, and why capitalism is a morally superior system than socialism. Along the way, we talk about the communal organization of the early Church Fathers, the Pilgrims, and Rev. Sirico’s thoughts on Ayn Rand. We conclude our discussion with an examination of President Bush’s faith-based initiative and the recent controversy involving the US Catholic bishops and the Obama administration’s health care mandates.

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Lan Chu on Catholicism in Vietnam

Is the Catholic Church likely to be a force for political liberalization in Vietnam? Prof. Lan Chu takes up this question and also talks about the history of Catholicism in that country with special attention on how the Church has survived under a communist regime. Our discussion also includes various comparisons with Eastern Europe and Cuba, and Prof. Chu provides some speculation about what the future of Vietnam might look like.

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Daniel Philpott on Religious Resurgence & Democratization

Is the global resurgence in public religiosity over the past 40 years linked in any way to the increase in democratic governance over the same period of time? Prof. Dan Philpott (Notre Dame) covers the historical trends of church-state relations and discusses how changes in political theologies and the increasing independence of religious organizations have provided a fertile ground for political democratization in some corners of the world. We examine how and why some religious traditions have been involved in promoting democracy under authoritarian conditions. Our discussion turns toward some speculation about the future of the “Arab Spring” at the end of our interview. This is the first part of a discussion of the book “God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics.”

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