The family and new challenges in the public sphere Cover Image

Rodzina wobec nowych wyzwań w sferze publicznej
The family and new challenges in the public sphere

Author(s): Piotr Mazurkiewicz
Subject(s): Pastoral Theology
Published by: Akademia Katolicka w Warszawie
Keywords: family; marriage; identity; liberalism; secularization

Summary/Abstract: New challenges coming from the public sphere, which the family must face, can originate from processes occurring in society or in political or economic institutions. They can be seen as spontaneous processes or as deliberate actions. They can be bottom-up or top-down in nature. When it comes to their subject matter, they mainly concern the issue of redefining marriage, the broadly understanded fertility and the role of parents in the child-rearing process. The redefinition of marriage is not just about negating the necessary sex difference in marriage, but, at a deeper level, also about passage from marriage understood as a natural union to marriage understood as a contract. What is taking place here is a shift in political anthropology, i.e., a shift from a vision of man as an inherently social being, and in particular inherently destined to live in marriage - an indissoluble union of one man and one woman, open to having offspring - to a vision of man as an autonomous individual with no obligations to other people unless they are accepted consciously and voluntarily, and can be dissolved or renegotiated at any time. Atomistic individualism leads to the perception of all human ties as restricting individual freedom. Hence abortion (the ability to free oneself from a child), divorce (the ability for one person to withdraw consent) or migration (the ability to leave the broader community) and the legal guarantees of such choices are seen as necessary backstops to individual freedom. The reproductive controversy is rooted in negative attitudes toward the child as an individual person and negative attitudes toward fertility in general (paradigm of overpopulation, anthropogenic climate change). The child, therefore, either violates the rights of parents or poses a threat to humanity. The article specifically examines the relationship of the challenges facing the family today to the dominance of liberal ideology and the phenomenon of secularization.

  • Issue Year: 36/2023
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 152-168
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Polish