The Secular City
The Secular City
This chapter argues that Vatican II (especially its document Gaudium et spes) and theologian Harvey Cox spurred development of a true Catholic “secular theology.” Drawing on and transforming preconciliar urban ministries, American Catholic futurists of the 1960s looked to new kinds of church buildings to encourage the mutual eschatological salvation of Church and city. They challenged the meticulously maintained dichotomies between future and realized eschatology, between “sacred” and “profane” space, projecting an incarnational mysticism into the entire urban complex. This vision extended the reach of the Church into new corners of the city, and so it was often supported and even funded by dioceses and religious orders. But some Catholics saw the relationship as reciprocal: the city was to be understood as a salvific gift to the Church. As the Church’s role in the Vietnam War and American racial politics came under increasing activist scrutiny in the late 1960s, secular theology called into question long-standing spatial norms that had previously carved out worship space as politically inviolate. The eruption of political demonstrations within church buildings during the late 1960s represented both the logical extension of secular theology, and its institutional limit.
Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.