Americas Church: The National Shrine and Catholic Presence in the Nations Capital

Hardcover | July 22, 2011

byThomas A. Tweed

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The National Shrine in Washington, DC has been deeply loved, blithely ignored, and passionately criticized. It has been praised as a "dazzling jewel" and dismissed as a "towering Byzantine beach ball." In this intriguing and inventive book, Thomas Tweed shows that the Shrine is also anilluminating site from which to tell the story of twentieth-century Catholicism. He organizes his narrative around six themes that characterize U.S. Catholicism, and he ties these themes to the Shrine's material culture - to images, artifacts, or devotional spaces. Thus he begins with the Basilica's foundation stone, weaving it into a discussion of "brick and mortar"Catholicism, the drive to build institutions. To highlight the Church's inclination to appeal to women, he looks at fund-raising for the Mary Memorial Altar, and he focuses on the Filipino oratory to Our Lady of Antipolo to illustrate the Church's outreach to immigrants. Throughout, he employspainstaking detective work to shine a light on the many facets of American Catholicism reflected in the shrine.

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The National Shrine in Washington, DC has been deeply loved, blithely ignored, and passionately criticized. It has been praised as a "dazzling jewel" and dismissed as a "towering Byzantine beach ball." In this intriguing and inventive book, Thomas Tweed shows that the Shrine is also anilluminating site from which to tell the story of t...

Thomas A. Tweed is Shive, Lindsay, and Gray Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of Our Lady of the Exile and Crossing and Dwelling.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:408 pages, 6.5 × 9.29 × 1.42 inPublished:July 22, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199782989

ISBN - 13:9780199782987

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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Threshold to Catholic America1. Laying Catholicism's FoundationMultiple Motives, Diverse Devotees, and Varying Scales in the Building of the Shrine, 1909-19592. Mobilizing "America's Marys"Women, Fundraising, and the Mary Memorial Altar, 1913-383. Engaging Catholic KidsChildren's Agency, Cultural Prescriptions, and Structural Constraints in the Catholic Institutional Network, 1920-19594. Contesting Protestant InterpretationsThe Defense of the Virgin Mary, the Design of the Crypt Church, and the Presence of the Incorporeal Other, 1913-325. Claiming Civic SpaceThe National Shrine, the Subjunctive Mood, and the Nation's Capital, 1913-596. Incorporating Catholic ImmigrantsEthnic Diversity, Transnational Migration, and the Crypt Columns and Ethnic Chapels, 1919-1997Postscript: The Shrine as Threshold: Catholicism, America, ReligionAppendices: A Social Profile of Selected Pilgrims and Donors, 1913-1959AcknowledgmentsNotesIndex