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Transformational Ethics: The Concept of Obedience in Post-Conciliar Jesuit Thinking

  • The paper sheds light on the change in the concept of obedience within the Society of Jesus since the 1960s. In the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council, a so-called crisis of authority and obedience took place in the Catholic Church and the religious orders. As a consequence, the notions of responsibility and conscience came to the fore in the Jesuit definition of obedience. The religious concept of obedience, that is the obedience towards God, was reassessed as a service to humanity. The paper analyzes how the change in the concept of obedience gave rise to the promotion of social justice, which the Society of Jesus proclaimed at General Congregation 32 in 1974/75. By including the promotion of social justice into their central mission, Jesuits not only fundamentally transformed their self-conception, but also their ethical values. The paper argues that the pursuit of social justice became a form of religious obedience.

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Author:Antje SchnoorGND
DOI original:https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10050342
Parent Title (English):Religions
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Hannover
Release Date:2019/08/27
Tag:Jesuits; authority; conceptual history; ethics; identity, Catholic Church; intellectual history; obedience; social justice
GND Keyword:Gehorsam; Ethik; Jesuiten; Soziale Gerechtigkeit; Geistesgeschichte; Autorität; Katholische Kirche; Identität
Link to catalogue:1689776900
Institutes:Sonstige Einrichtungen
DDC classes:240 Christliche Erfahrung, christliches Leben
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International