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Transformational Ethics: The Concept of Obedience in Post-Conciliar Jesuit Thinking

Department of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Hochschule Hannover (HsH), Bismarckstraße 2, 30173 Hannover, Germany
Religions 2019, 10(5), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10050342
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 19 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 27 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reenvisioning Christian Ethics)
The paper sheds light on the change in the concept of obedience within the Society of Jesus since the 1960s. In the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council, a so-called crisis of authority and obedience took place in the Catholic Church and the religious orders. As a consequence, the notions of responsibility and conscience came to the fore in the Jesuit definition of obedience. The religious concept of obedience, that is the obedience towards God, was reassessed as a service to humanity. The paper analyzes how the change in the concept of obedience gave rise to the promotion of social justice, which the Society of Jesus proclaimed at General Congregation 32 in 1974/75. By including the promotion of social justice into their central mission, Jesuits not only fundamentally transformed their self-conception, but also their ethical values. The paper argues that the pursuit of social justice became a form of religious obedience. View Full-Text
Keywords: obedience; ethics; Jesuits; social justice; intellectual history; conceptual history; authority; identity, Catholic Church obedience; ethics; Jesuits; social justice; intellectual history; conceptual history; authority; identity, Catholic Church
MDPI and ACS Style

Schnoor, A. Transformational Ethics: The Concept of Obedience in Post-Conciliar Jesuit Thinking. Religions 2019, 10, 342.

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