The Preaching of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: The Gospel Meets the Cold War

Overview

The greatness of America's most influential preachers of the twentieth century came from their significant contributions to both religious and secular society. Some names, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Billy Graham, are universally recognized and typically thought of first by people today. Assorted reviews have also listed other notable names from various Christian denominations, but little recognition has been given to the Catholic contribution to preaching in the twentieth ...

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The Preaching of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: The Gospel Meets the Cold War

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Overview

The greatness of America's most influential preachers of the twentieth century came from their significant contributions to both religious and secular society. Some names, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Billy Graham, are universally recognized and typically thought of first by people today. Assorted reviews have also listed other notable names from various Christian denominations, but little recognition has been given to the Catholic contribution to preaching in the twentieth century.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is at least one Catholic name whose contributions belong with the top most influential American preachers of that era. Though many associate Sheen with his five years on prime time television in the 1950s, it was the decades he spent preaching that wrought a religious tone to the Cold War and led the way in a national renewal of religion. An epic battle was set between the forces of good and evil in Sheen's preaching, particularly in his Good Friday sermons. This rhetorical study seeks to understand how and why his preaching was so persuasive to the people of his day.

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Editorial Reviews

Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan
Few preachers have stirred souls and moved hearts as did Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. I am happy to recommend Father Timothy Sherwood's The Preaching of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. He does a splendid job of focusing on the Archbishop's preaching, rhetorical skill, and Christian vision. A good read of this book will help everyone understand how and why Archbishop Sheen influenced generations of American Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
Christopher Lynch
Finally, we have a book that examines Sheen's preaching style in detail. Sheen made a significant, but mainly unexplored, contribution to American rhetoric. It is especially interesting that Sherwood focuses on the Good Friday sermons. This is a treasure for researchers because the sermons span five decades of his preaching in New York City that have never been examined before. An enjoyable and scholarly read, Sherwood places Sheen's rhetoric in the context of Cold War America, sharing insights on the persuasive interaction between speaker and audience and providing the key to Sheen's immense popularity.
Books and Culture
One welcome aspect of Sherwood’s book is its reminder of just how substantive Fulton Sheen’s messages were-over the airwaves and from the pulpit. While sheen tailored his messages to appeal to broad audiences, he could never be accused of preaching to the “itching of ears”.

Sherwood demonstrates Sheen’s proclivity for drawing parallels between characters and events in the bible with those of his own day.

In 1956, Bishop Fulton Sheen appeared as a guest on the TV show What’s My Line? Timothy Sherwood’s book makes clear that the correct answer to that question was “Preacher.” For that, Sherwood is to be commended.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739142622
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 11/17/2011
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 1,321,853
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Father Timothy Sherwood is pastor of St. Raphael Catholic Church in St. Petersburg, FL.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Preface
Introduction
1. Pulpit and Homiletics
2. Audience and Message
3. Truth and Consequences

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