Chapter

Religious Freedom: A Developing Doctrine

Avery Cardinal Dulles

in Church and Society

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228621
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236619 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823228621.003.0025
Religious Freedom: A Developing             Doctrine

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This chapter examines the development of the doctrine of religious freedom. According to John Henry Newman, Christianity came into the world as a single idea, but time was necessary for believers to perceive its meaning. One of the most striking developments in twentieth-century Catholicism is the doctrine of religious freedom set forth by the Second Vatican Council. The Declaration on Religious Freedom, known by its Latin title Dignitatis humanae, took up two very sensitive questions, the one dealing with the right of individual persons and groups to religious freedom; the other, with the duties of the State toward religion. In countries like the United States, the churches enjoy a blessed degree of freedom to carry out their mission. The discussion holds that the greatest threat to religion is the kind of secularism that would exclude religion from the public forum over the dimensions of common life.

Keywords: Newman; Christianity; religious freedom; Dignitatis humanae; secularism

Chapter.  5075 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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