American Catholics, American Culture: Tradition and Resistance

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Sheed & Ward, in partnership with Commonweal magazine, presents the second of two volumes in the groundbreaking series, American Catholics in the Public Square, a project funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Essays by scholars, journalists, lawyers, business and labor leaders, church administrators and lobbyists, novelists, activists, policy makers and politicians address the most critical issues facing the Catholic Church in the United States. Volume 2, American Catholics, American Culture: Tradition and Resistance, is introduced by Peter Steinfels and Robert Royal. Part One, "Against the Grain," explores the philosophical and practical differences between Catholicism and American culture on issues in sexuality, marriage, abortion, stem cell research, women's rights, and physician-assisted suicide. The essays attempt to mediate the divide between Catholicism's communal and personalist view of the human person and the American preference for autonomy and pluralism. Part Two, "Popular Culture & Literature," confronts the role and interaction of the Church in popular culture and explores the identity of the "Catholic" writer on the literary page and in the media. Part Three, "Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice?" endeavors to define what anti-Catholicism is, where it is found in North American culture, what it means for maintaining group identity, and how it can be interpreted as an American or religious phenomenon.
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Editorial Reviews

This volume of essays so exemplifies civil yet strenuous exchange on volatile topics in contemporary Catholicism that it exceeds a search for common Catholic ground and becomes instead that much-praised, seldom-found reality: a community of discourse... I recommend the volume to anyone seeking a constructive path in divisive times, to parish clergy, to women and men religious, to all interested in U.S. civic life, and to faculty and students doing courses in theology, American history, cultural studies, or Catholic studies.
Library Journal
This is the second of two volumes in the "American Catholics in the Public Square" series, edited by Steinfels, former editor of Commonweal. The collection explores philosophical and practical aspects of the intersection of popular culture and Catholicism. Issues like abortion, sexuality, women's rights, euthanasia, Catholic identity, and anti-Catholicism are vigorously dissected by contemporary authors drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, including scholars, activists, church administrators, and politicians. The format preserves the spirit of the Commonweal Colloquia, where the essays were first presented, with a natural dialog resulting from the arrangement of opposing and respondent articles. This editorial technique focuses on the debates and keeps the inquiry lively. A timely introduction to some of the drama unfolding in today's headlines as well as a responsible, reasoned summary of some key challenges facing American Catholicism, this volume is a valuable contribution to what it calls a "vigorous and articulated religious participation in public affairs" and should be in any library keeping abreast of current issues. Sheila Peiffer, Acad. of the Holy Names, Albany, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742531611
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2004
  • Series: American Catholics in the Public Square Series , #2
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, co-director of American Catholics in the Public Square project, was the editor of Commonweal from 1988 to 2002.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Preface Part 2 Acknowledgements Part 3 Introduction Part 4 Against the Grain Chapter 5 Catholics in America: Antipathy and Assimilation Chapter 6 Abortion, Sexuality, and Catholicism's Public Presence Chapter 7 The Church's Prophetic Response: Connecting Sexuality, Marriage, Family, and Children: A Response Chapter 8 The Complexities and Ambiguities of the "Prophetic Dimension": A Response Chapter 9 The Pro-Life Message and Catholic Social Teaching: Problems of Reception Chapter 10 The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Pro-Life Agenda: A Response Chapter 11 The Abortion Debate: Good for the Church and Good for American Society Chapter 12 Killing Yourself: Physician-Assisted Suicide in Oregon Part 13 Part II: Popular Culture and Literature Chapter 14 Catholicism as American Popular Culture Chapter 15 "As If in Prayer": A Response to "Catholicism as American Popular Culture" Chapter 16 The Last Catholic Writer in America? Chapter 17 Being a Writer, Being a Catholic: Sometimes the Twain Can Meet Chapter 18 The Press and the Church's Social Teaching: Friends or Foes? Chapter 19 Assertions, Not Reasons: A Response Part 20 Part III: Anti-Catholicism in the United States: The VIew from History Chapter 21 An Ugly Little Secret Revisited: A Pretest on Anti-Catholicism in America Chapter 22 Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice? Yes Chapter 23 Voices from the Field Part 24 About the Contributors
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