The late Pope John Paul II frequently invoked Dignitatis Humanae as
one of the foundational documents of contemporary Church social
teaching. In this timely new edited collection, Catholicism and
Religious Freedom: Contemporary Reflections on Vatican II's
Declaration on Religious Liberty, Kenneth L. Grasso and Robert P.
Hunt have assembled an impressive group of scholars to discuss the
current meanings of one the Vatican's most important documents and
its place in the Church. Dignitatis Humanae understands itself as
bringing 'forth new things that are in harmony with the old.'
Today, forty years after its publication, the precise nature of
these 'new things' and their relationship to 'the old' remain among
the most important pieces of unfinished business confronting
Catholic social thought. The theological issues brought forth in
Dignitatis Humanae go to the heart of the contemporary debate about
the nature, foundation, and scope of religious liberty. Here, the
contributors to this volume give these considerations the serious
and sustained attention they deserve.
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