In Search of an American Catholicism: A History of Religion and Culture in Tension

Paperback | November 14, 2003

byJay P. Dolan

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For more than two hundred years American Catholics have struggled to reconcile their national and religious values. In this incisive and accessible account, distinguished Catholic historian Jay P. Dolan explores the way American Catholicism has taken its distinctive shape and follows howCatholics have met the challenges they have faced as New World followers of an Old World religion. Dolan argues that the ideals of democracy, and American culture in general, have deeply shaped Catholicism in the United States as far back as 1789, when the nation's first bishop was elected by the clergy (and the pope accepted their choice). Dolan looks at the tension between democraticvalues and Catholic doctrine from the conservative reaction after the fall of Napoleon to the impact of the Second Vatican Council. Furthermore, he explores grassroots devotional life, the struggle against nativism, the impact and collision of different immigrant groups, and the disputed issue ofgender. Today Dolan writes, the tensions remain, as we see signs of a resurgent traditionalism in the church in response to the liberalizing trend launched by John XXIII, and also a resistance to the conservatism of John Paul II. In this lucid account, the unfinished story of Catholicism in Americaemerges clearly and compellingly, illuminating the inner life of the church and of the nation. In this lucid account, the unfinished story of Catholicism in America emerges clearly and compellingly, illuminating the inner life of the church and of the nation.

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For more than two hundred years American Catholics have struggled to reconcile their national and religious values. In this incisive and accessible account, distinguished Catholic historian Jay P. Dolan explores the way American Catholicism has taken its distinctive shape and follows howCatholics have met the challenges they have faced...

Jay P. Dolan is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of several books on the history of American Catholicism, including his best known work, The American Catholic Experience: A History from Colonial Times to the Present. He has served as President of both the American Catholic Historical As...

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Format:PaperbackPublished:November 14, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195168852

ISBN - 13:9780195168853

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. "Catholicism in an Age of Democracy"2. "The Romanization of Catholicism"3. "In Search of an American Catholicism"4. "Competing Visions"5. "An American Religion and a Roman Church, 1920-2001"NotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Few American historians have acquired the broadness of mind and intellectual curiosity to do what Jay Dolan has done in this book. In Search of an American Catholicism represents a tour de force of mature scholarship, careful but critical thought, and engaging prose. The work represents abold departure from earlier social histories of American Catholicism to engage relevant theological and intellectual issues without ever losing sight of their social context. At a time when the Roman Catholic Church is re-examining its role and mission in American society, this book could not comeat a more auspicious time. This book deserves the widest possible attention from readers within and without the Catholic tradition. All will learn more about Catholicism. All will learn more about America."--Harry S. Stout , author of The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture inColonial New England