The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice

Paperback | September 10, 2004

byPhilip Jenkins

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Anti-Catholicism has a long history in America. And as Philip Jenkins argues in The New Anti-Catholicism, this virulent strain of hatred--once thought dead--is alive and well in our nation, but few people seem to notice, or care. A statement that is seen as racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, or homophobic can haunt a speaker for years, writes Jenkins, but it is still possible to make hostile and vituperative public statements about Roman Catholicism without fear of serious repercussions. Jenkins shines a light onanti-Catholic sentiment in American society and illuminates its causes, looking closely at gay and feminist anti-Catholicism, anti-Catholic rhetoric and imagery in the media, and the anti-Catholicism of the academic world. For newspapers and newsmagazines, for television news and in movies, formajor book publishers, the Catholic Church has come to provide a grossly stereotyped public villain. Catholic opinions, doctrines, and individual leaders are frequently the butt of harsh satire. Indeed, the notion that the church is a deadly enemy of women--the idea of Catholic misogyny--is commonlyaccepted in the news media and in popular culture, says Jenkins. And the recent pedophile priest scandal, he shows, has revived many ancient anti-Catholic stereotypes. It was said that with the election of John F. Kennedy, anti-Catholicism in America was dead. This provocative new book corrects that illusion, drawing attention to this important issue.

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Anti-Catholicism has a long history in America. And as Philip Jenkins argues in The New Anti-Catholicism, this virulent strain of hatred--once thought dead--is alive and well in our nation, but few people seem to notice, or care. A statement that is seen as racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, or homophobic can haunt a speaker f...

Philip Jenkins is Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University. His books include Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis, Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History, and The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 5.98 × 9.09 × 0.79 inPublished:September 10, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195176049

ISBN - 13:9780195176049

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"This is an astonishing book. Most of us get used to the contempt heaped upon the Catholic church by nice, liberal people (as if such contempt were only to be expected), so we stop thinking of it as the gross deformity of soul it is. Jenkins, once a Catholic but no longer, quietly amassesevidence about more types of prejudice and bigotry against Catholics than most of us are conscious of. He is particularly good at diagnosing 'the black legends' about Catholicism which everybody 'knows' are true--the Crusades, the Inquisition, 'silence' regarding the Holocaust--and the inneragitation of 'anti-Catholic Catholics,' who have internalized the world's contempt. A serious, original, provocative study."--Michael Novak, author of On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding