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Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Comparative Perspective$
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Jocelyne Cesari and José Casanova

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198788553

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198788553.001.0001

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Catholicism, Gender, Secularism, and Democracy

Catholicism, Gender, Secularism, and Democracy

Comparative Reflections

(p.46) 2 Catholicism, Gender, Secularism, and Democracy
Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Comparative Perspective
José Casanova
Oxford University Press

This chapter offers an interpretation as to why issues of secularism and gender did not play a significant role in transitions from authoritarian to democratic regimes in Catholic contexts. By the time highly divisive and politically contested issues of “gender,” such as the legalization of divorce, abortion, or same-sex marriage, emerged on the legislative agenda in most Catholic countries, democratic regimes had already been consolidated. In reaction to the Catholic Church’s official defense of a “traditionalist” position on gender issues and a singularly obsessive focus on “sexual” moral issues, one can observe, throughout the Catholic world, a dual process of female secularization and erosion of the Catholic Church’s authority on sexual morality.

Keywords:   gender, secularism, secularization, legalization of divorce, abortion, same-sex marriage, legislative agenda, moral issues, sexual morality

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