Catholic Supporters of Same Gender Marriage. A Case Study of Human Dignity in a Multicultural Society

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This work presents the emerging theory of transcendent pluralism and its application in a study of Catholic supporters of same-gender marriage. Transcendent pluralism is an emerging knowledge and values-based theory of human dignity for addressing contemporary social issues rooted in human devaluation such as group bias, social injustice, health disparities, human rights violations, violent conflict and genocide. Transcendent pluralism is grounded in a philosophical explication of human dignity and has been influenced by the writings of twentieth-century philosopher and theologian, Bernard Lonergan.
The legalization of same-gender marriage in Massachusetts brought the issue of bias against gays and lesbians into public discourse. During this controversial time, many of the theoretical constructs of transcendent pluralism were manifested, particularly among Catholics who support same-gender marriage. In order to investigate and refine the theory, a study was conducted of Catholic same-gender marriage supporters, using a qualitative research method adapted from Lonergan’s transcendental method.
This work will appeal to people who are interested in cultural pluralism, group relations, philosophy, Lonergan studies, humanities, social justice, human rights, gay and lesbian studies, Catholicism, ethics, research methods, nursing and health disparities.


“The ability to understand the relationship between self and other in all issues of human discord can lead to an expanded collective consciousness. This new understanding can move us toward a new dialogue and enhance the human good. It can provide opportunities that bring new clarity to old debates and invite us to become visible partners in reducing violence and advancing opportunities that promote human dignity for all. The book is an essential read for all who are interested in philsophopy, philosophical inquiry, social justice and promoting the rights of all humans around the world.” - Prof. Dorothy Jones, Boston College Connell School of Nursing

“ . . . [Perry] handles the volatile material with the courage and detachment of a self-transcending inquirer. And, she makes a persuasive case for the inclusion of the institution of same-gender marriage in a transformative community valuing the dignity of all persons.” - Prof. Elizabeth A. Murray, Loyola Marymount University

". . . an important book for those interested in human rights, cross-cultural relations and peace-building. Professionals in human services can find useful insights and inspiration for their work." - Dr. Callista Roy

Table of Contents

Part I: Transcendent Pluralism
1. Transcendent Pluralism: Setting the Context
2. Phenomenology as a Moral Endeavor
3. Lonergan and Human Understanding
4. Human Dignity in Transcendent Pluralism
5. The Transformative Effect
6. The Community Scale of Values
7. Differences and Bias
8. Transformation of Bias
9. The Development of Community in Transcendent Pluralism
Part II: A Study of Transcendent Pluralism in Catholic Supporters of Same-Gender Marriage
10. Health Disparities
11. Transcendent Pluralism and Same-Gender Marriage
12. Research: The Manifestation of Transcendent Pluralism in Catholics who Support Same-Gender Marriage
13. Theme I: Decision to Support Same-Gender Marriage: An Unfolding Process
14. Theme II: Personal and Community Development: A Mutual Transformation
15. Theme III: Parenting: Guiding the Development of Children
16. Theme IV: Communication: A Transformative Message
17. Theme V: Challenge and Conversion: Moving Toward an Ideal
18. Theme VI: Dialectic: Response to Church’s Actions
19. Theme VII: The Constituted Self: Building Authenticity and Helping Historical Humanity
20. Interthematic Findings
21. Analysis of Transcendental Method as a Method for Research with Human Subjects
22. Study Conclusions and Implications
Appendix A: Interview Guide

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