It seems to me that recently in Catholic intellectual life we have seen in some circles a complete subordination of scholarship to the neo-Modernist agenda. This subordination is not entirely new, but it seems to me more extreme and explicit. Two cases stick out: Adriano Oliva's Amours, and Giancarlo Pani's La Civilita Cattolica article on marriage at the Council of Trent. Again, such a politicization and degradation of scholarship is not entirely new. Oliva is building on a long tradition of secular politicized scholarship concerning homosexuality, which can be seen in the work of John Boswell, and was reflected in the public shenanigans of Martha Nussbaum ( http://linguafranca.mirror.theinfo.org/9609/stand.html). Pani is in part drawing on a twenty-year tradition of neo-Modernist moral theology.
It seems to me that Catholic scholars with neo-Modernist leadings can get away with shoddy work in a way that is similar to how politically-minded scholars generally can get away with such work in the secular context. Is there an increasing double standard? I can't think of recent parallel instances where tradition-minded established scholars or respected public intellectuals similarly misuse scholarship or rely on scholarly credentials to further their agenda, but I could very well be wrong.
I would love comments on the following questions: Is there a double standard? Are there other instances of it, such as in ecumenical dialogue? Or is it just the result of my recent reading of Oliva?
Maybe it is just a lot more common in theology, and I have been reading more theology lately.
For Pani's article, see:
and a helpful rejoinder in