Chapter

A Church in Peril

Richard Lennan

in Risking the Church

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780199271467
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602108 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199271461.003.0002
A Church in Peril

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Between the end of the nineteenth century and the end of the twentieth century, the Roman Catholic Church experienced not only a significant decline in its standing in Western societies, but also a loss of cohesion among its members; this chapter explores both developments. A particular focus is on how the church's response to ‘modernity’, which emerged in the wake of the Enlightenment, affected life within the communion of faith, especially the settled worldview that had developed after the Council of Trent (1545–63). The second half of the chapter examines the impact of the Second Vatican Council (1962–65), especially the upheaval that has accompanied the reception of that council. The goal of the chapter is to establish why the present‐day life of the church can validly be described as a state of ‘peril’.

Keywords: enlightenment; modernity; perfect society; reception; Trent; Vatican I; Vatican II

Chapter.  15495 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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