The Church Confronts Modernity: Catholic Intellectuals and the Progressive Era

The Church Confronts Modernity: Catholic Intellectuals and the Progressive Era

by Thomas E. Woods Jr.
     
 
Woods (history, State U. of New York-Suffolk Community College) has written extensively about the Catholic Church, and here explores how American Catholics at the beginning of the 20th century thought about and dealt with radical changes in society. He considers the crucial questions of labor and social justice, but also looks more broadly at important intellectual

Overview

Woods (history, State U. of New York-Suffolk Community College) has written extensively about the Catholic Church, and here explores how American Catholics at the beginning of the 20th century thought about and dealt with radical changes in society. He considers the crucial questions of labor and social justice, but also looks more broadly at important intellectual developments of the Progressive Era and the church's response to each. The study is revised from his doctoral dissertation for Columbia University. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Catholic Historical Review - Margaret Mary Reher
The Church Confronts Modernity is provocative, well-written, and deserves to be read.

Journal of American Studies - Frank Lennon
It is written with great clarity and fluency, making the complex philosophical and theological concepts approachable... This is a very important book which will be indispensable reading for scholars interested in the history of religion.

Theological Studies - Thomas G. Guarino
It moves briskly and gracefully through the thorny issues confronting the Church during the first two decades of the 20th century... An effective and detailed examination of Catholic intellectual life during a little studied period.

Journal of American History - Patrick W. Carey
This book is well worth reading. It is well written, well researched, and the thesis put forth is well argued.

American Catholic Studies - Michael J. Lacey
Provocative... Woods thoughtful study casts new light on the Catholic response to the culture of progressivism.

American Historical Review - Deirdre Moloney
Well written... Worthwhile contributions to the literature.

Choice - P. J. Hayes
This book will be a valuable resource...Highly recommended.

Catholic Historical Review
The Church Confronts Modernity is provocative, well-written, and deserves to be read.

— Margaret Mary Reher

Journal of American Studies
It is written with great clarity and fluency, making the complex philosophical and theological concepts approachable... This is a very important book which will be indispensable reading for scholars interested in the history of religion.

— Frank Lennon

Theological Studies
It moves briskly and gracefully through the thorny issues confronting the Church during the first two decades of the 20th century... An effective and detailed examination of Catholic intellectual life during a little studied period.

— Thomas G. Guarino

Journal of American History
This book is well worth reading. It is well written, well researched, and the thesis put forth is well argued.

— Patrick W. Carey

American Catholic Studies
Provocative... Woods thoughtful study casts new light on the Catholic response to the culture of progressivism.

— Michael J. Lacey

American Historical Review
Well written... Worthwhile contributions to the literature.

— Deirdre Moloney

The American Conservative - Paul Gottfried
Precociously wise... magnificent.

A Christian Review - Eugene McCarraher
A lucid and accessible book

Choice - P.J. Hayes
This book will be a valuable resource...Highly recommended.
The American Conservative
Precociously wise... magnificent.

— Paul Gottfried

A Christian Review
A lucid and accessible book

— Eugene McCarraher

Choice
This book will be a valuable resource...Highly recommended.

— P. J. Hayes

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231131865
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
05/26/2004
Series:
Religion and American Culture Series
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.24(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.78(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Philip Jenkins
Though he is writing about the Progressive Era, Thomas Woods deals with issues that are still both timely and relevant. He explores how American Catholics redefined the limits of faith and doctrine in an age of social and intellectual transformation, a time when cherished orthodoxies seemed ever more at odds with secular assumptions. The Church Confronts Modernity is thoughtful, well-written and rewarding.

Joseph A. Varacalli
The implications of the thesis put forth by Thomas E. Woods, Jr., are potentially revolutionary for the academy, the Catholic Church, and American society. The author makes a compelling case that the Catholic intellectual critique of the scholarship of the progressive era was characterized not only by theological commitment but by philosophical sophistication and a selective and well thought out openness to whatever was useful in secular educational approaches. Furthermore, he argues that this substantial critique laid the seeds for a period of outstanding Catholic academic accomplishments from the 1920s through the 1950s. Thus does Woods demolish simultaneously the smug progressive secular charge that the idea of a "Catholic intellectual" represented a contradiction in terms and the self-serving claim made by contemporary masochistic American Catholic progressives that pre-conciliar Catholic scholarship in the United States represented an intellectual wasteland. The Church Confronts Modernity might actually serve to jump start, once again, the Catholic intellectual attempt to "restore all things in Christ" at a time when more and more thoughtful citizens are starting to seriously question the fruits of secular modernity.

Donald J. D'Elia
A brilliant study, The Church Confronts Modernity illumines a period of recent American history too long neglected by first-rate scholars. We all stand indebted to Professor Woods' deep and insightful analysis of Catholic thought in what was the increasingly hostile milieu of the Progressive Era. Indispensable!

Meet the Author

Thomas E. Woods Jr. is senior fellow in American history at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama.

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