The globalization of the Catholic Church

History, organization, theology

Authored by: Isacco Turina

Routledge International Handbook of Religion in Global Society

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138182509
eBook ISBN: 9781315646435
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter we propose a three-dimensional analysis—historical, organizational and theological—of the globalization of the Catholic Church in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. These three dimensions have evolved together to transform it from a mainly European-based organization into a global actor. The historical dimension concerns macro-historical changes like secularization in Europe, the loss of temporal power of the popes, and global demographic trends. Continents like Latin America and Africa, which were once lands of evangelization for European missionaries, now represent the bulk of Catholicity and are themselves promoting evangelization elsewhere.

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