Religious authority in the modern world

Journal Article

A response is offered to Philip Jenkins's (2003) article on the abuse crisis in the US Catholic Church. It is suggested that the roots of the current crisis go beyond his analysis of the cultural conflict between liberals & conservatives within the US Roman Catholic Church. Specifically, the source of this crisis is located within the general crisis of authority facing the church & other religious institutions in the modern, increasingly secularized world. The decline of religious officials' power to make decisions in this context is examined. The importance of factors indigenous to Catholicism vs those characterizing all religious denominations in contributing to the authority crisis is discussed. Also considered is the influence of the priest shortage, specifically, the decline in the "quality" of initiates into the priesthood. K. Hyatt Stewart

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chaves, M

Published Date

  • 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 38 - 40

Published By

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0147-2011

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s12115-003-1034-8