Religious Studies | CATHOLIC CONTROVERSIES
R430 | 10493 | Furey, C


In the popular press today, Catholicism is virtually synonymous with
controversy. The current uproar about priests who sexually abuse
children is only the latest in a long string of disputes. In this
course we will track the history of Catholicism over the past 500
years by analyzing several famous controversies, beginning with
Martin Luther and the rise of the Protestant Reformation. We’ll
study internal controversies: about local versus universal
practices, about the Jesuits, and about papal power. And we’ll study
some famous external controversies: the Church’s kidnapping of the
Jewish boy in the nineteenth century, the Church’s relationship with
fascist governments, and the opposition to the church in Mexico’s
nationalist revolution. The final section of the course will focus
on Vatican II and the controversies that have arisen in its wake.
These events will provide a framework for analyzing broad questions
about how religious traditions adapt and change over time, and about
how Catholicism and modernity came to be defined over against one
another. This course will involve a significant amount of primary
and secondary source reading, and   requirements will include
several short response papers as well as a final research paper.