The Teachings of Modern Christianity on Law, Politics, and Human Nature - Vol. 1

By John Witte Jr.; Frank S. Alexander | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Pope John XXIII (1881–1963)

LESLIE GRIFFIN

Pope John XXIII's view of human nature was very optimistic, and this optimism translated specifically into a positive perspective on the modern world. The legacy of his papacy (1958–63) was the aggiornamento (updating) of Roman Catholicism through a critical acceptance of modernity, which his predecessors had regarded with much suspicion. Pope John's three major accomplishments—the convocation of the Second Vatican Council (1962– 65) and the promulgation of the encyclical letters Mater et magistra (1961) and Pacem in terris (1963)—reflected his unflagging confidence that human beings could build ecclesial, economic, social, and political institutions that promoted unity, truth, justice, charity, peace, and freedom.

Unlike other figures in this volume, Pope John did not propose a systematic theory of human nature. Instead, in sharp contrast to his papal predecessors and successors, he embraced the modern world and led the Catholic Church into dialogue with it. Readers should not underestimate the difficulty or originality of this accomplishment. When Angelo Roncalli took the papal throne in 1958, many church leaders longed to restore the Catholic Church to its prior primacy as the established religion of every empire or state. They opposed the liberal reforms that the Enlightenment had brought to Europe, including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and democratic government. In other words, in 1958, much of the church's bureaucracy was antimodern.

John's three significant achievements demonstrate that he successfully placed the church in, not against, the modern world. The council, which gathered the world's Catholic bishops in Rome, prompted reform ad intra and ad extra, within the church and in the church's relationships with non-Catholics. It “ended the Constantinian era of the Church and [began] a new historical period.”1Mater et magistra adopted contemporary economic theory. It advocated an expanded role for the state to protect human

-145-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Teachings of Modern Christianity on Law, Politics, and Human Nature - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 806

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.