A New Hope? Pope Francis, the Academy, and LGBT Scholars and Scholarship

By Richard W. McCarty


For many years now, scholars of religion and/or sexuality at Catholic colleges and universities have had their academic freedom challenged by the orthodoxy of the church—especially for LGBT scholars, or works of scholarship that promote LGBT lives. However, with the rise of Pope Francis a new hope of academic freedom appears. In the pontiff’s apostolic exhortation Evangelli Gaudium, Pope Francis calls for church officials to engage the academy in dialogue, not with rote condemnation.  This call for dialogue may be a new hope for scholars of religion and/or sexuality—especially LGBT scholarship—at the intersection of Catholic identity and academic freedom.

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