11,582 research outputs found

    Eating Together: Early Modern Gentry Commensality in the Northwest of England, c.1530-1670

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    Early modern commensality represented an opportunity for early modern gentry communities potentially split along religious lines to come together while simultaneously being occasions for the display of social status, a mechanism for social advancement, and the persuasion of important county figures. This thesis demonstrates that the northwest gentry families of the Heskeths, Norrises, and Moretons used commensality and hospitality to navigate the religious and social changes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Successful commensal occasions required detailed knowledge and implementation of culture, dietetics, information, and accomplished social skills. This was demonstrated through décor, tableware, conversation, entertainments, and food. Careful stage-management of these elements ensured commensal atmospheres that could shape and influence guests. Immersive food spaces featured aspects of material culture which acted as pillars of support for Catholic hosts, such as the Heskeths and Norrises, when deviating from the prescriptions of their faith in dining with Protestants. These symbols of devotion rooted Catholic hosts in religious piety even as they made concessions over foods served or who they broke bread with. They also represent changing conceptions of the early modern gentry home during the Reformation as food and dining rooms became increasingly sanctified in lieu of ecclesiastical buildings and amid anxieties over mixed-faith commensality. Gentry commensality was increasingly centred on London in the seventeenth century and this change is reflected in the experiences of the Protestant Moreton family. Changes in hospitality shifted the location of commensality around different food spaces of the gentry house and then beyond the home in line with changing social fashions. Added to the assemblage of gentry commensality came influences from metropolitan, colonial, and diplomatic centres including associated material culture, conversation, and different markers of gentry belonging. Analysis of how each of the families achieved this at Rufford Old Hall, Speke Hall, and Little Moreton Hall uses affect and assemblage theories. These are combined with early modern understandings of domestic environments based on embodiment, humoral bodies, and the interconnected nature of mind, body, sensation, and soul

    Uncreated Silence and Orthodox Christian Eldership

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    Uncreated silence exists as the unspoken speech of the Holy Spirit, which can be heard in prayer, discerned in spiritual relationships, and lived as pastoral care. This idea is explained using biblical and theological sources, the spiritual and pastoral works of those who are known as Orthodox Christian elders, as well as select studies of modern Orthodox and Catholic Christian leaders in the United States. Here is how this is accomplished.First, by explaining the concerns of hesychastic silence and its lack of relationality through the juxtaposition of Tomáš Špidlík’s 1988 criticism of hesychasm and Zacharias Zacharou’s 2022 instruction on hesychasm. Second, by proposing a Pneumatological solution to this question in the existence of an uncreated silence based on select New Testament accounts of the Holy Spirit, informed by the Pneumatology of Basil the Great, described by audiation, and experienced by Seraphim of Sarov. Third, by presenting uncreated silence as an apophatic relationality using the work of Christos Yannaras and Max Picard.Fourth, by demonstrating that uncreated silence is a spiritual relationality lived by elders, confessors, and those whom they guide; and by acknowledging the potential for spiritual abuse within these relationships.Fifth, by describing the connection between uncreated silence and select spiritual relationalities found in the New Testament and among Patristic sources.Sixth, by examining the biographical, spiritual, and pastoral works of select Orthodox and Catholic spiritual leaders in the West, and specifically in the United States, during the 20th and 21st centuries

    Individualism and the Christian Call: Catholic Theology of Vocation in an Emersonian Key

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    Might we hope for a form of individualism that is at once vocational and Catholic? This dissertation answers in the affirmative. In the course of doing so, it enlists the services of one of individualism’s great champions, Ralph Waldo Emerson, for Catholics an unlikely ally, to be sure, but one whom Catholics, by the end of this rapprochement, will come to appreciate as a kindred spirit. The species of individualism associated with the name of Emerson resonates with themes sounded by the Church through the Second Vatican Council and in magisterial documents since. These themes invite us to consider the conditions of possibility for a ‘culture of vocation.’ Both the contemporary Catholic vision of a culture of vocation and the Emersonian vision of ‘self-reliance’ share a set of metaphysical presumptions that are best described as a sort of ‘Platonism.’ It is against the background of their shared Platonic imaginations—a background often obscured and misunderstood—that a theology of vocation not only begins to make the most sense but also to come across as compelling. The Platonic metaphysics of vocation organize phenomena associated with the subject-side of salvation such that vocation itself might be appreciated as a mode of divine self-communication—the form that revelation takes when it is addressed personally to the individual. In the absence of a well-formed Platonic imagination, one tends to understand vocation within the boundaries of the Epicurean imagination – the ‘default’ position in much of contemporary society – in which the very idea of being called personally by God can only seem like ‘hearing voices,’ something either miraculous or pathological, perhaps even bordering on madness. In conclusion, we establish that Emersonian individualism might even have something constructive to offer those engaged in efforts to reconcile People of God and commuio approaches to contemporary Catholic ecclesiology

    La concessione di luoghi di culto tra ecumenismo e dialogo interreligioso: criteri e limiti nella prospettiva canonistica

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    In spite of the enunciation of the wide guarantees enjoyed by religious freedom and its manifestations, the 'right to a place of worship' and the possibility of using suitable spaces for this purpose is a theme that periodically reappears at the center of the public debate in today's multicultural and pluralistic societies. Such an attention clearly finds its primary impulse in the requests from 'new' religious communities which, although present in an increasingly consistent measure on our national territory, not infrequently they are completely devoid of spaces suitable for constituting what is now peacefully recognized as a 'physical prerequisite' for the exercise of freedom of worship itself. Such a transformation has naturally affected first of all the juridical and administrative level, by not only directing the development of the reference discipline, but – fundamentally – by questioning the role and the very meaning of the notion of 'place of worship' in the context designed from State law: a notion whose distinctive characteristics have in fact been deemed necessary to be identified again in the light of the need to include a plurality of cases which until now had been substantially ignored by our legal system. In the face of such a scenario, alongside the analysis of the evolutionary prospects to which the legislation can open up, we have also witnessed the formulation of concrete proposals aimed at overcoming – or at least mitigating – the main criticalities: among these, an hypothesis prefigured in a recurring way has proved to be, for example, the one relating to the sharing of places of worship, or the transfer of spaces no longer used by the original communities to different confessions, whose faithful cannot rely on suitable structures for carrying out their own celebrations. On some occasions, these suggestions have therefore come together spontaneously with the reflections prompted by the different but contiguous phenomenon of the increasingly frequent abandonment of Catholic churches: a trend that has now become consolidated, with very problematic implications, even beyond of our national borders, arriving to touch – with different incidences, but in a transversal way – almost all the so-called 'Countries of ancient evangelization'. In examining the effective feasibility of similar initiatives, however, it is essential to proceed away from easy enthusiasm, bearing in mind that they can prove to be truly decisive – and, before that, admissible – only if they are authentically respectful of the different identities of each community involved: an outcome that cannot be taken for granted, but requires to be made the object of a careful evaluation, capable of understanding and taking into due consideration all the relevant elements, according to an operation which – although based primarily on theological reasons – can only make use of legal instruments as well. It is in this sense that we therefore propose, precisely taking into consideration the specific condition of the Catholic churches, to determine if and to what extent the perspective described can find acceptance in the light of Canon law: an attempt that will necessarily have to start, first of all, by the very concepts of 'sacred place' and 'church-building' as defined by the current Codex Iuris Canonici, to which a specific Title of the fourth Book De Ecclesiae munere sanctificandi is specifically dedicated, as well as by the criteria and methods established for their concrete use (can. 1210) and for the hypothesis of their relegation to profane use, with consequent change of use of the property (can. 1222). In order to translate the general framework thus outlined into the specific terms of the question of our interest and to identify an essential nucleus of good practices that can from time to time guide the appropriate assessments in this regard, the provisions of the Code will naturally have to be integrated with the guiding principles and operational indications that can be obtained – at the respective, different levels – from the interventions of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia and from the documents of the Italian Bishops' Conference: let's just think, with reference to the last profile mentioned, about the contribution recently provided by the "Procedural Guidelines for the Modification of Parishes and the Closure, Relegation and Alienation of Churches" by the Congregation for the clergy and the "Guidelines: Decommissioning and Ecclesial Reuse of Churches" by the Pontifical Council for Culture. The results obtained will in turn be able to finally be compared with the other essential elements of comparison for such an itinerary, which are the principles on ecumenism and the guidelines on interreligious dialogue: in this sense, it will be also possible to rely on the contribution provided respectively by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, as well as on the precious support provided by the precise instructions formulated by the Italian Bishops' Conference for specific cases, such as the criteria dictated for the possible concession of places of worship in the Vademecum for the pastoral care of Catholic parishes towards non-Catholic Orientals drawn up by the National Office for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue and the National Office for Legal Problems.Nonostante l'enunciazione delle ampie garanzie assicurate alla libertà religiosa e alle sue manifestazioni, quello relativo al 'diritto al luogo di culto' e alla possibilità di fruire di spazi adeguati a tale scopo è un tema che periodicamente si ripresenta con forza al centro del dibattito pubblico nelle odierne società multiculturali e pluraliste: un'attenzione che chiaramente trova il suo impulso primario soprattutto nelle istanze delle 'nuove' comunità religiose che, benché presenti in misura sempre più consistente sul nostro territorio nazionale (o la cui presenza si attesta comunque in proporzioni del tutto inedite rispetto a quanto era possibile riscontrare fino a tempi ancora recenti), non di rado risultano affatto prive di spazi idonei a costituire quello che pure è ormai pacificamente riconosciuto come un 'presupposto fisico' all'esercizio della stessa libertà di culto. Una simile trasformazione ha naturalmente investito innanzitutto il piano giuridico e amministrativo, non solo informando e indirizzando lo sviluppo della disciplina di riferimento, ma – in radice – ponendo in discussione il ruolo e il significato stesso della nozione di 'luogo di culto' nel contesto disegnato dal diritto statuale: nozione di cui si è infatti ritenuto necessario individuare nuovamente i caratteri distintivi alla luce del bisogno di ricomprendervi una pluralità di fattispecie che fino ad ora erano state sostanzialmente ignorate dal nostro ordinamento. A fronte di un simile scenario, a fianco dell’analisi delle prospettive evolutive a cui può aprirsi la normativa in questione si è assistito inoltre alla formulazione di proposte concrete e innovative volte a superare – o perlomeno a mitigare – le criticità principali: tra queste, ipotesi prefigurate in modo ricorrente si sono rivelate ad esempio quelle relative alla condivisione di luoghi di culto, o alla cessione di spazi non più utilizzati dalle comunità originarie a confessioni diverse, i cui fedeli non possono contare su strutture idonee allo svolgimento delle proprie celebrazioni. In alcune occasioni, tali suggestioni sono perciò venute coniugandosi spontaneamente con le riflessioni sollecitate dal fenomeno – differente ma contiguo, rispetto a quello in parola – della sempre più frequente dismissione di chiese cattoliche: tendenza ormai consolidatasi, con risvolti assai problematici, anche al di là dei nostri confini nazionali, arrivando a toccare – con incidenza diversa, ma in modo trasversale – pressoché tutti i cosiddetti 'Paesi di antica evangelizzazione'. Nel vagliare l'effettiva realizzabilità di simili iniziative è tuttavia indispensabile procedere al riparo da facili entusiasmi, tenendo conto che esse possono rivelarsi davvero risolutive – e, prima ancora, ammissibili – solo laddove risultino autenticamente rispettose delle diverse identità di ciascuna comunità coinvolta: presupposto che non rende certo scontato tale esito, il quale dovrà anzi a maggior ragione essere fatto oggetto di accurate valutazioni, capaci di comprendere e tenere nella giusta considerazione tutti gli elementi rilevanti, secondo un'operazione che – benché fondata su ragioni primariamente teologiche – non può che avvalersi di strumenti anche giuridici. È in questo senso che ci proponiamo perciò, prendendo appunto in esame la condizione specifica delle chiese cattoliche, di determinare se e in quale misura la prospettiva descritta possa trovare accoglienza alla luce del diritto canonico: un tentativo che dovrà inderogabilmente prendere le mosse, innanzitutto, dai concetti stessi di 'luogo sacro' e di 'chiesa-edificio' così come definiti dal vigente Codex Iuris Canonici, ai quali è appositamente dedicato un apposito Titolo del quarto Libro De Ecclesiae munere sanctificandi, nonché dai criteri e dalle modalità predisposti per il loro concreto utilizzo (can. 1210) e per l'ipotesi di una loro riduzione a uso profano, con conseguente mutamento di destinazione dell'immobile (can. 1222). Al fine di tradurre il quadro generale così delineato nei termini specifici della questione di nostro interesse e allo scopo di individuare un nucleo essenziale di buone prassi che possano di volta in volta guidare le opportune valutazioni in merito, le disposizioni codiciali dovranno naturalmente essere poi integrate con i principi direttivi e le indicazioni operative ricavabili – ai rispettivi, differenti livelli – dagli interventi dei dicasteri della Curia romana e dai documenti della Conferenza Episcopale Italiana: si pensi ad esempio, con riferimento all'ultimo profilo richiamato, all'apporto recentemente fornito dalle Linee guida per la modifica di parrocchie e la chiusura e l’alienazione di chiese della Congregazione per il clero e dalle Linee guida sulla dismissione e il riuso ecclesiale di chiese del Pontificio Consiglio della cultura. I risultati così ottenuti potranno a loro volta essere finalmente confrontati con l'altro elemento di paragone indispensabile per un simile itinerario, consistente cioè nei principi in materia di ecumenismo e negli orientamenti sul dialogo interreligioso: potendo contare anche in questa occasione sul contributo fornito rispettivamente dal Pontificio Consiglio per la promozione dell'unità dei cristiani e dal Pontificio Consiglio per il dialogo interreligioso, nonché sul prezioso sostegno costituito dalle istruzioni puntuali formulate dalla Conferenza Episcopale Italiana per specifiche fattispecie, qual è il caso dei criteri dettati per l’eventuale concessione di luoghi di culto nel Vademecum per la pastorale delle parrocchie cattoliche verso gli orientali non cattolici stilato dall'Ufficio nazionale per l’ecumenismo e il dialogo interreligioso e dall'Ufficio nazionale per i problemi giuridici

    Orthodoxy and ecumenism: towards active metanoia

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    The questions that underlined and motivated this research project have been: Why do members of the Orthodox Church participate in the ecumenical movement, and how can they negotiate an involvement in ecumenical contexts, together with their non-Orthodox counterparts – considering that the Orthodox see their Church as the one and only true Church? The background of this exploration has been the context of hostility and prejudice, which some groups within the Orthodox Church have manifested towards ecumenical encounters, which has marred and obstructed a genuine dialogue between the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox Christian communities. This project is based on the analysis of sources from contemporary Orthodox and Western theological milieux. It has interpreted these sources with a view to determining how they interact and coalesce into visions that inform the relationship between Orthodoxy and ecumenism. The interpretative stage of the discussion reveals the necessity of delineating paradigms for Orthodoxy and ecumenism that will enable future ecumenical interactions of greater efficiency and integrity. Such paradigms outline a vision wherein central aspects of Orthodox theology would move away from a paradigm of ‘passive conservatism’ to one of ‘active metanoia’ (transformation), while ecumenism would come to be seen as a perennial process and intrinsic aspect of theology. These vantage points define a new Orthodox vision of ecumenism as an ever-enlarging catholicity, by bringing back to the fore the common theological core of both Orthodoxy and ecumenism

    Contextualizing Trumpism: Understanding Race, Gender, Religiosity, and Resistance in Post-Truth Society

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    From within the discipline of religion and culture studies, this thesis contextualizes the intersecting discourses surrounding race, gender, and religion underpinning “Trumpism” as an exclusionary populist rhetoric in the United States with similar trends emerging in Canada, Europe, and parts of the Global South. In the US, Trumpism represents not only the political style and rhetoric of its namesake, but the mentality of a distinct voter base compelled to “make America great again.” Pressurized by contemporary social realities and a sensationalist media culture, Trumpian rhetoric can be understood as a “whitelash” response to changes in the American social fabric enmeshed in a cultural history of (white) Christian nationalism. To better understand the cultural and political undertones embodied by Trumpism, this research project presents four Focused Cultural Examples (FCEs) to engage critical discourse/media analysis in dialogue with academic literature. Each FCE examines an event or cluster of topics at the intersections of race, gender, and religion, including antithetical political movements and counter-narratives which challenge and resist Trumpism and what it represents. The synthesis chapter includes brief Canadian comparisons and considers some strategies for building more equitable and informed communities

    The Role of a Roman Catholic Organization in Undergraduate Student Psychosocial Development, Identity Formation and Graduation Rates

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    The mixed-methods study investigated the psychosocial development, identity formation, and academic persistence of undergraduate students involved in a Roman Catholic student organization at a private, non-sectarian university. The research framed members’ identity development in the context of Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory and Chickering and Reisser’s Seven Vectors of Student Development. The qualitative research relied on interviews, a focus group, and field observations to gather data on members’ psychosocial and identity development. Regarding psychosocial development, participants discussed that the organization helped them develop meaningful, intimate relationships. Participants also highlighted that the organization helped them to develop intellectual competence, discover purpose through religious participation, form identities structured in Catholic beliefs, and become tolerant in their relationships. Additionally, the study investigated the graduation rates of Roman Catholic student organization members compared to other student religious organizations, the university’s six-year graduate rate, and students who self-identified as Roman Catholic. The quantitative analysis used a test of homogeneity of proportions and a series of two-sample z-tests for difference in proportions to compare graduation rates. Based on the analysis, the graduation rates of members were significantly higher than the university’s six-year graduation rate. However, graduation rates of members were not significantly different from students who self-identified as Roman Catholic. The statistical analysis also found mixed results for graduation rates of members compared to other religious groups

    The History of Religious Hiring at American Catholic Law Schools

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    A mission-driven institution requires personnel who are competent for the realization of the mission. The following article examines the practice of Catholic law schools hiring Catholics as law professors throughout the over 150-year history of Catholic legal education in the United States. This history shows that Catholic law schools alternately sought to hire Catholics as law professors or to hire individuals without regard to their religious affiliation as these schools’ self-understanding of mission changed over time
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