The Pope, the gays and the Dutch: Dutch secular responses to Pope Benedict XVI when homosexuality seems at stake

Marco Derks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article provides a critical discourse analysis of Dutch perceptions of, and responses to, papal utterances that were perceived to be (primarily) about homosexuality. It looks not only at secular conceptions of religion, in which the Pope’s views on homosexuality are taken as exemplary of the irrationality and libido dominandi of religion, but also at certain postsecular uses of religion to rebuke the Pope. It explains Pope Benedict’s (perceived) obsession with homosexuality by locating it in the context of a Vatican discourse against ‘gender ideology’, whereas it explains the Dutch media’s preoccupation with homosexuality by explaining that the papal pronouncements are seen as a threat to the international role of the Netherlands as a moral guide and, more precisely, a threat to what the Dutch see as their moral ‘export product’: ‘gay marriage’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-61
Number of pages22
JournalCulture and Religion
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gender
  • homosexuality
  • nationalism
  • Pope Benedict XVI
  • secularism
  • the Netherlands

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