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      A Secular Principle : Dialogic RE from a Catholic Perspective 

      Beginning a New Conversation

      Peter Lang Ltd, International Academic Publishers,

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          Abstract

          At the historical juncture of Early Modern Catholicism, the dialogue between Christianity and the world ‘favoured a confessional state in which political authority was wedded to spiritual authority and the state supported, promoted, and in some cases even enforced the Catholic Church’s truth claims’ (Weigel, 2017: 46). This has been termed the ‘thesis model’, and with this model, the Catholic Church secured both legal and financial patronage from the state. The thesis model prevailed in the era of Christendom when almost all Europeans paid lip-service to the teachings and authority of the Catholic Church. However, the Reformation, then the Enlightenment and now secularisation have transformed the West, and only a minority accept the authority of the Church and obey her teachings. So, the thesis model is no longer valid and another must be sought. A valid, alternative model may be the hypothesis model in which the Catholic Church tolerates a confessionally neutral or procedurally secular state. For many, this is attractive, especially given the favourable experience of the Church with this model in the United States (Weigel, 2017).

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          10.3726/9781789976441.003.0008
          aaf278f8-aa9f-4969-b3e0-8518277aadac
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