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Keywords:

  • Catholic;
  • Protestant;
  • Culture;
  • Modernity;
  • Vatican II

Abstract

This article reviews the church and culture relationship developed in Gaudium et Spes and Lumen Gentium and proposes a Catholic account of modernity as a way in which the contemporary mission of the church in today's culture can be creatively and faithfully carried forward. After an initial outlining of the definitions of church and culture proposed by the Vatican documents, I then go on to position my proposal of a Catholic modernity in relation to some important current accounts of the church and culture relationship that tend towards a rejection of secular culture. I argue that Protestant accounts of modernity have dominated in philosophical and sociological theories and draw on my previous work on Max Weber to illustrate the significance of this for developing a Catholic account of modernity. I conclude by sketching some of the important issues which would need to be addressed in formulating a systematic account of a Catholic modernity.