Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Ecumenism and Abortion: A Case Study of Pluralism, Privatization and the Public Conscience

James Kelly
Review of Religious Research
Vol. 30, No. 3 (Mar., 1989), pp. 225-235
DOI: 10.2307/3511507
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3511507
Page Count: 11
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($9.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Ecumenism and Abortion: A Case Study of Pluralism, Privatization and the Public Conscience
Preview not available

Abstract

This paper uses the Churches' responses to the controversy over abortion as a measure of the internalization of ecumenism. The data used in the essay include interviews with ecumenical officers and the minutes of the American Bishops Pro-life Committee. The main conclusion is that during the controversy "mainstream" Protestantism and Roman Catholicism reverted to post-Reformation and pre-Vatican II ideological roles, with Catholicism opposing under the banner of objective moral truth the legalization of abortion and liberal Protestantism under the banner of subjective conscience providing a belated religious justification to the legalization promoted first by secularist activists. This reversal to historic ideological roles actually distorted the more nuanced positions of these Churches in the controversy, but the lack of an ecumenical context obscured these shared tensions and prevented the Churches from contributing to a better public structuring of the moral ambiguities most Americans felt and still experience about abortion and the extent of its legalization. The essay concludes that only in an ecumenical context can religious pluralism lead to more inclusive moral commitments rather than to a further privatization of religion.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
225
    225
  • Thumbnail: Page 
226
    226
  • Thumbnail: Page 
227
    227
  • Thumbnail: Page 
228
    228
  • Thumbnail: Page 
229
    229
  • Thumbnail: Page 
230
    230
  • Thumbnail: Page 
231
    231
  • Thumbnail: Page 
232
    232
  • Thumbnail: Page 
233
    233
  • Thumbnail: Page 
234
    234
  • Thumbnail: Page 
235
    235