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Fundamentalism or TraditionChristianity after Secularism$
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Aristotle Papanikolaou and George E. Demacopoulos

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823285792

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823285792.001.0001

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Conscience and Catholic Identity

Conscience and Catholic Identity

Chapter:
(p.223) Conscience and Catholic Identity
Source:
Fundamentalism or Tradition
Author(s):
Darlene Fozard Weaver
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823285792.003.0013

How does a faith community that understands morality as objective and universally valid operate in a secularized world without lapsing into moral fundamentalism? The reactive, oppositional, hermetic character of religious fundamentalism extends to a faith community’s moral convictions and commitments, disposing religiously fundamentalist communities to moral fundamentalism as well. Catholic debates about conscience illustrate internal struggles over the moral presuppositions of modernity and secularism and their import. Taking Catholic responses to the anti-LGBT attack on the Pulse nightclub as an example, Weaver argues that conscience is closely bound with personal and communal moral identity. Catholic responses to secularism and modernity involve morally freighted choices about what to emphasize, defend, and adapt; who to include, empower, or marginalize; and how to interpret internal plurality, external influences, and alternative modes of thought. Indeed, Catholic responses to fundamentalism, secularism, and modernity enact conscience, as individuals and communities decide what sort of ecclesial community the church will be.

Keywords:   conscience, morality, religious disaffiliation, Roman Catholicism, United States of America, Vatican II (Second Vatican Council)

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