Woman and Man: the Humanum in Its Entirety



This is a publication of the proceedings of an international congress held from 7 to 9 February 2008 in Rome on the same theme: “Woman and man, the humanum in its entirety”, commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem, the first document from the pontifical magisterium dedicated entirely to women. Two hundred and eighty delegates from 49 countries in five continents, representing thirty-seven bishops’ conferences, twenty-eight ecclesial movements and new communities, sixteen women’s associations and nine religious institutes gathered for this unique event which was of a high scientific level and did not fail to tackle the burning issues of our times.

The five lectures found in this publication insist on the need to base all reflection on solid and integral anthropological principles in order to if it is to contribute to the genuine advancement of women in society and the Church. The first lecture by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares assesses the actual state of the debate on the status of women twenty years after Mulieris Dignitatem.  According to the Cardinal, primate of Spain, the apostolic letter advances “an illuminating truth concerning women, a joyful contribution for the Church and for humanity”. The central issues covered in the other four lectures include the newness brought about by the way in which Jesus of Nazareth related with women, an exegesis of “male and female God created them” (Gen 1: 27), uni-dual anthropology, and the responsibility and participation of women in building the Church and society. This publication also includes the content of the panel discussions on the topics of Christianity and the advancement of women, contemporary cultural trends and difficulties, the role and mission of women, and priorities in different parts of the world. On these themes there were contributions that made a strong impact. They spoke of womanhood being reduced to a consumer product, the gender ideology, the rejection of maternity and family, and women who have to deal with fundamentalism and violence.


Woman and Man: the Humanum in Its Entirety. On the 20th anniversary of John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem (1988-2008). International Congress (Rome, 7-9 February 2008) Città del Vaticano 2010 (€15).

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