Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Philosophy and Religion

Document Type



The Second Vatican Council was one of the most seminal councils in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, and had far reaching and engaging effects on the wider universal institution. One of the most important outcomes of Vatican II was not the reforming of orthopraxy, but the dialogue that developed within the Church regarding specific issues, two of which are the transforming dynamic of women’s roles in Church life and of Catholic sexual ethics. The decades following Vatican II became a new era of religious dialogue amongst Catholic scholars and theologians, which established new discussions on women’s ordination and sexual ethics in the contemporary world. This paper discusses dialogue concerning women’s ordination into the priesthood and/or permanent diaconate, as well as the dialogue that developed from Pope John Paul II’s moral teachings in his Theology of the Body. This paper explores the dialogue amongst Catholic scholars and theologians on the changing role and opinion of women in ministerial positions, as well as the shifting of understanding of sexual morality in the contemporary Church that developed due to the broadening emphasis on discussion established by Vatican II.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Elizabeth Gish


Catholic Studies | Ethics in Religion | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Gender and Sexuality