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31. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Stephen R. Sharkey, Ph.D. Beyond Mills’ Sociological Imagination: Using a Pedagogy Based on Sorokin’s Integralism to Reach Today’s Introductory SociologyStudents
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In this paper I explore some important limitations of the typical pedagogy of introductory sociology based on C. W. Mills `sociological imagination, and suggest a deeper, more effective approach that incorporates the best of Mills’ idea but goes beyond it. Sociology faculty commonly hope that introductory students embrace a type of liberal political ideology embedded in how Mills originally defined the “sociological imagination,” but in today’s classroom one often encounters students for whom this teaching model does not work. I examine what might lay behind students’ seeming rejection of sociological disciplinary messages, a rejection rooted in their experience of a “horizontal” culture. Then I present certain teaching strategies, based on Sorokin’s “integral” sociology, that may assist faculty to more effectively reach students who seek something deeper and more meaningful than political leftism—something that respects and connects and grounds the empirical, the conceptual, and spiritual—but who lack the tools to pursue it because of how sociology has been framed for them.
32. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
G. Alexander Ross Integrating the Analysis of Social Problems with a Catholic Understanding of Man and Society
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Like much of modern scholarship, the study of social problems today is usually conducted in isolation from the truths of faith. Yet Catholics understand that the truths of science and the truths of faith are not in opposition but in harmony. This paper uses the Catholic concept of transcendent human dignity to integrate the scientific analysis of social problems with the Church’s understanding of man. This integral approach places the social scientist on a firm footing from which to identify the principal social problems of our day and to clarify the appropriate solutions, which would guard the dignity of the human person and facilitate his true flourishing.
33. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
John F. Quinn The Decline and Fall...and Revival of the Catholic Church in America
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In The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America, the sociologist David Carlin offers insightful explanations for why Catholicism began to unravel in the 1960s. Facing the aftershocks of Vatican II, the collapse of their cohesive urban neighborhoods, and the onslaught of the cultural revolution, American Catholics experienced a “perfect storm” from which they have yet to recover. Carlin sees little reason for optimism about the future. Among other things, he notes thebishops’ “appallingly poor” handling of the sex abuse scandal and their tolerance of homosexuality in the seminaries. While agreeing with mostof Carlin’s analysis, this reviewer is more optimistic about the future prospects of the Church in America.
34. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
David R. Carlin The Sudden Decline of the Catholic Church in America
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The crisis into which the Catholic Church in America fell in the late 1960s and early ‘70s (a crisis that is still with us) is in large measure the result of three factors that occurred more or less simultaneously, thereby creating a “perfect storm” for US Catholicism: (1) Vatican II, (2) the end of the so-called “Catholic ghetto,” and (3) the cultural revolution that swept the US beginning in the ‘60s. Just as Catholics were entering the mainstream of American culture, that culture was losing its old Protestant character and taking on a new, secularist character.
35. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Bevil Bramwell OMI John Paul II and Hans Urs von Balthasar: The Relationship between the Jews and the Church
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The views of two modern Catholic figures, John Paul II and Hans Urs von Balthasar, on the Jewish religion and the State of Israel are informed by their theological reflections that go back to the Christian Scriptures. There they identify the radical newness of Christianity and at the same time its profound roots and continuing debt to the Jewish Scriptures and to the continuing existence of the Jewish people and the Jewish religion. The tortured past history of relationsbetween the Catholic Church and the Jewish people and their religion apparently turned on the political exigencies of ‘protecting’ the daily exercise of Catholicism. In the modern historical period where on the one hand, the independent State of Israel exists and where on the other hand, Catholicism has no intrinsic need of a specific land, the theological principles of the need of and debt to Israel as the ‘elder brother’ and as the ‘stock’ onto which Christianity is inescapably grafted, has come to the fore and has led to a number of agreements, under John Paul II, between the Vatican and the State of Israel.
36. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Joseph A. Varacalli Did the Decline of Catholicism in Post-Vatican II America Have to be So Steep and Is the Climb Back Really So Improbable?: A Few Questions at the Margins
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The following comment expresses broad agreement with the Carlin thesis regarding the reasons leading to the decline in the health of the Catholic religion in the U.S. during the post-Vatican II era. Certain “questions at the margins” are raised, however, regarding such issues as:1. whether or not both a more orthodox episcopal leadership and Catholic intellectual elite could have lessened and can now reverse the decline; 2. the definition of what “American” means and whether contemporary secular elites can legitimately claim an organic connection to that heritage; and 3. whether or not the self-destructive tendencies of contemporary secular social life and policy have set the stage for a renewal within both American civilization and the Church in America.
37. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Joseph A. Varacalli Gibson’s Passion and the American Culture War
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The paper places the controversy over Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ into an analysis of the present day “culture war” taking place between progressives and traditionalists within American society and the Catholic Church of the United States. Incorporated into the analysis are such topics, among others, as anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity, the nature of the Christian message, excessive violence, reactions to viewing the film, the historical accuracy of the Gospels, censorship and blackballing, the use of double-standards, the secular dominance of Hollywood and the public square, impact on Jewish-Christian relations, and cultural and political consequences.
38. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Rev. Michael E. Giesler The Enduring Value of Corporal Mortification
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Recently, the practice of corporal mortification has become somewhat of a “cause celebre” as a result of the anti-Catholic novel The Da Vinci Code. In it, an Opus Dei monk beats himself in gruesome bloody rituals which caricature and sensationalize the Church’s traditional practices of penance and love for the cross. (By the way, in Opus Dei there are no monks, only lay people and secular priests.) On the other hand the Mel Gibson film, The Passion of the Christ, confrontsviewers of all religious traditions with the reality of suffering as an integral aspect of love and union with God. The purpose of this essay is to explore the biblical, spiritual, and historical roots of corporal mortification, and to show its continued pertinence to men and women of today’s world.
39. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Rafael E. Tarragó Science and Religion in the Spanish American Enlightenment
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In Spain and Spanish America, the Enlightenment was not an anti-religious movement. Actually, the interest in the dissemination of scientific knowledge characteristic of that cultural movement which originated in Europe in the 18th century was embraced by priests and monks in Spain and Spanish America. The many examples of Catholic clergy involved in scientific endeavors in Spanish America between 1700 and 1808 mentioned in this article suggest that the CatholicChurch did not oppose the scientific knowledge promoted by the Enlightenment where its advocates did not ridicule her teachings and did not attack her as an institution.
40. Catholic Social Science Review: Volume > 10
Stephen M. Krason Child Abuse and Neglect: Failed Policy and Assault on Innocent Parents
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This paper is a modified version of a talk presented by the author at the SCSS’s Capitol Hill Luncheon-Seminar on “Defending the Family,” at the Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C., April 23, 2004. It is an updated examination of the subject in question since the author’s lengthy and more comprehensive article on the subject in the SCSS’s 1998 anthology, Defending the Family; A Sourcebook (which is still available from the Franciscan UniversityBookstore, Steubenville, Ohio 43952). Like the earlier article, it shows that the problem of false allegations of child abuse and neglect against parents continues to be massive. It identifies vague laws, attitudes of operatives in the child protective system, the ease of making reports, and the legal immunity of protective system operatives as the main reasons for this. It discusses the threats to children and innocent families posed by the system. It finds the limited protections for parents written into recent federal law an encouraging development, but points out that parents still have relatively few rights in the face of the system. It presents the case as to why the current child protective system is fundamentally flawed and should be eliminated in favor of a different approach to protecting children from true abuse and neglect.