A journal of academic theology

Jacob Kohlhaas

Constructing Parenthood: Catholic Teaching 1880 to the Present

This article reviews Catholic theological conceptions of parenthood within magisterial documents since the late nineteenth century and contends that presumptions about parenthood tend to arise as reactions to Western cultural developments related to sex and gender. This reactionary trend creates instability in conceptions of parenthood and inhibits the ability of the institutional church to respond constructively to real challenges that face parents in the present. Pastoral concern for lived realities, as well as the responsibilities of Christian parents to socialize and evangelize children, tend to disrupt this trend, but more adequate theological attention to parenthood qua parenthood is still required.

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