William Cossen, The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Catherine Osborne, St. Peter Claver Catholic Worker
Susan Ridgely, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The scholars participating in this panel will engage in a conversation analyzing the current Catholic sex abuse crisis both historically and historiographically and will offer recommendations for how the international Catholic Church can more effectively use the lessons of the past to pursue a course of justice and substantive reform.
This roundtable discussion on religion, gender, sex, sexuality, and power will seek answers to these and similar questions:
- How has historians’ failure to more centrally situate Catholicism in their narratives weakened their ability to effectively analyze the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church,
- To what extent has Catholic scholarship’s inattention to larger historical interpretations of women, gender, and sexuality rendered it unable to adequately comprehend the church’s current crisis?
- How has the political project of empire, and the forms of racialization that spin out of it, become a layer in the power dynamics that underscore clerical sex abuse?
- In what ways can child victims of clerical sex abuse be more effectively centered in scholarship on the crisis?
- In what ways is this a specifically Catholic crisis?
- How can scholars use space and place to better understand the abuse crisis?
- To what extent have scholars unwittingly suppressed and silenced credible accounts of Catholic abuse in the historical record?
- What roles should Catholic laypeople and the state play in reforming church governance?
Audience comments and contributions are welcomed and encouraged.