One Faith, Two Authorities: Tension between Female Religious and Male Clergy in the American Catholic Church

One Faith, Two Authorities: Tension between Female Religious and Male Clergy in the American Catholic Church

by Jeanine E. Kraybill


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While female religious have grown to possess a sense of personal authority in issues impacting the laity, and have come to engage in social-issue-oriented activities, religious institutions have traditionally viewed men as the decision-makers. One Faith, Two Authorities examines the tensions of policy and authority within the gendered nature of the Catholic Church. 

Jeanine Kraybilllooks at the influence of Catholic elites—specifically within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious—and their opinions on public policy and relevant gender dynamics with regard to healthcare, homosexuality, immigration, and other issues. She considers the female religious’ inclusive positions as well as their opposition to ACA for bills that would be rooted in institutional positions on procreation, contraception, or abortion. Kraybill also systematically examines the claims of the 2012 Doctrinal Assessment against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

One Faith, Two Authorities considerswhether the sisters and the male clergy are in fact in disagreement about social justice and healthcare issues and/or if women religious have influence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439913826
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 03/20/2019
Series: Religious Engagement in Democratic Politics Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 172
Sales rank: 832,854
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Jeanine E. Kraybill is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Bakersfield. She is the editor and contributing author of Unconventional, Partisan, and Polarizing Rhetoric: How the 2016 Election Shaped the Way Candidates Strategize, Engage and Communicate. Her work has been featured in Fieldwork in Religion, the Journal of Communicationand Religion, as well as Oxford’s Encyclopedia for Religion and Politics.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction 1

2 Navigating the Hierarchy: A Look at Female and Male Religious Leadership, Political Engagement, and Influences 18

3 Evaluating the Doctrinal Assessment: Positions, Priorities, and Mobilization Efforts 38

4 Evaluating the Claims of the Doctrinal Assessment Continued: Frames and Language Styles of the LCWR and USCCB's Policy Statements 57

5 On Cue: The Impact of Catholic Religious Elite Messaging on Lay Public Opinion 77

6 Male Clergy and Female Religious: A Concluding Note on Living the Faith from Two Types of Authority 103

Appendix 115

Notes 131

References 135

Index 151

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