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The Role of the Popes in the Invention of Complementarity and the Vatican's Anathematization of Gender

Forthcoming Religion and Gender Habemus Gender Special Issue 2016

U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 565

18 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2016  

Mary Anne Case

University of Chicago Law School

Date Written: February 25, 2016

Abstract

This article examines the origins and uses by the Vatican of the theological anthropology of complementarity, arguing that the doctrine of complementarity, under which the sexes are essentially different though not unequal, is an invention of the twentieth century untraceable in earlier centuries, but developed by, among others, the Popes from Pius XII through Benedict XVI, in part as a response to feminist claims, including those recently anathematized by the Vatican under the term "gender." After exploring some difficulties with the application of the doctrine of complementarity as Catholic orthodoxy, the article concludes by compiling preliminary evidence as to the extent Pope Francis will continue his predecessors' approach to complementarity.

Keywords: Vatican, gender, complementarity, theological anthropology, Benedict XVI, John Paul II, Pius XII

Suggested Citation

Case, Mary Anne, The Role of the Popes in the Invention of Complementarity and the Vatican's Anathematization of Gender (February 25, 2016). Forthcoming Religion and Gender Habemus Gender Special Issue 2016; U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 565. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2740008

Mary Case (Contact Author)

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-3867 (Phone)
773-702-0730 (Fax)

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