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Communication Habits for the Pilgrim Church

Vatican Teaching on Media and Society

Series:

Warren A. Kappeler III

Communication has become an important theme and heuristic concept in practical theology for Roman Catholics during the ecumenical age. Communication Habits for the Pilgrim Church explains why the moral order is given priority in Vatican teaching about communication and the reasons for Catholic social teaching to make moral judgments about these new realities. Attention is given in the book to the historical context of Vatican Councils I and II. The first chapter shows that behind the pilgrim Church lies an emerging vision of the threefold ecclesial offices of priest, prophet, and king. Chapter two examines the text and context of the Second Vatican Council’s pastoral decree «Inter Mirifica». Chapter three provides a documented history of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communication and its teachings. In chapter four we return to the threefold office and examine the contribution of Pope John Paul II. It includes an analysis of how the politics of the Magisterium shapes Catholic social teaching. Chapter five develops major tenets of a critical analysis of the communication of the post-Vatican II Church: attention is given to the discursive aspects of religious authority, argumentation, bureaucratization, and market culture. Chapter six takes a step toward examining the pragmatics of contemporary Vatican teaching. For Roman Catholic moral theology, religious ethics is now deeply concerned with providing moral teaching and guidance on ethical questions raised by the social conditions of globalization and media communication. Communication Habits for the Pilgrim Church concludes that there are three basic sociological and theological aspects of the pilgrim Church. These include a ritual approach to religious communication, the generational experience of Catholics and their respective attitudes toward Church teaching, and the important link in the faith’s praxis between reflexivity and forming habits of communication.