The Role of Women in the Magisterium of John Paul II  

Abstract Category: Other Categories
Course / Degree: B.A. (Hons.) Theology and Human Studies
Institution / University: University of Malta, Malta
Published in: 2002

Thesis Abstract / Summary:

Most of the many books that have touched upon the subject of the role of women in the Catholic Church present a somewhat negative view of the Church. This is more so especially when women’s issues are involved. The Church is generally presented as a retrogrative patriarchal institution with a male dominated hierarchy and theology.

Being a practising Catholic, and additionally very much interested in gender issues for a very long time, such views intrigue me. I became ever more curious to delve into the subject in order to unravel the perplexities such literature presented to my mind and to my religious sensibilities.

It seemed natural, alas, to concentrate on the teachings of Pope John Paul II. As Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church I consider him to be representative of the official magisterium. I must say that reading through his encyclicals, apostolic letters, homilies, exhortations, and other speeches was most illuminating.

As can be gathered from what I have said so far the aim of this dissertation is not to document feminist theology in all of its implications. My main interest is to discern more fully John Paul’s understanding of gender issues and the role of women, and how this has affected the Church during these last twenty years or so.

Writings on gender equality tend to be hopelessly rhetorical unless they are situated in a specific space, such as the context of the family, motherhood, employment, politics, and the like. John Paul’s reflections are never severed from concrete and pragmatic situations in which women around the world find themselves.

Furthermore, though women should be always free from constructive ideas which relegate them to inferior or submissive positions, and though they must be ceaselessly open to new ideas, they must never be subjected to the dictates of trendy cultural developments and consumption fantasies. John Paul, addressing all women around the globe, fully acknowledges that most women cannot automatically accept cultural ideas that can be assimilated with ease by other women as the normal path. His view, while most respectful to particular differences, embraces the whole width and breadth of the role of women in the modern world.

Thesis Keywords/Search Tags:
Gender Issues, Catholic Church, John Paul II, women, magisterium

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Submission Details: Thesis Abstract submitted by Omar Seguna from Malta on 06-Mar-2006 07:06.
Abstract has been viewed 1683 times (since 7 Mar 2010).

Omar Seguna Contact Details: Email: seguna2005@gmail.com

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