Polarization in the US Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal

Polarization in the US Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal


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Polarization in the US Catholic Church: Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal by Mary Ellen Konieczny

It is no secret: the body of Christ in the United States is broken. While universality and unity amid diversity is a fundamental characteristic of Roman Catholicism, all-too-familiar issues related to gender, sexuality, race, and authority have rent the church. Healthy debates, characteristic of a living tradition, suffer instead from an absence of genuine engagement and dialogue. But there is still much that binds American Catholics. In naming the wounds and exploring their social and religious underpinnings, "Polarization in the US Catholic Church" underscores how shared beliefs and aspirations can heal deep fissures and the hurts they have caused. Cutting across disciplinary and political lines, this volume brings essential commentary in the direction of reclaimed universality among American Catholics."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814646656
Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
Publication date: 08/15/2016
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 798,456
Product dimensions: 5.37(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.37(d)

About the Author

Mary Ellen Konieczny is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame. She holds a PhD from the University of Chicago and an MDiv from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and she previously worked in ministry and administration for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.  Her book, The Spirit’s Tether: Family, Work, and Religion among American Catholics, is an ethnography of liberal and conservative Catholic parishes examining how religion and family life support and shape moral and political polarization.

Charles C. Camosy (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is associate professor of theology at Fordham University. His articles have appeared in publications including American Journal of Bioethics, Journal of the Catholic Health Association, Los Angeles Times, and America. He is also the author of Too Expensive to Treat?, Peter Singer and Christian Ethics, For Love of Animals, and Beyond the Abortion Wars. He advises the Faith Outreach office of the Humane Society and the ethics committee of Children's Hospital of New York.

Tricia C. Bruce (PhD, University of California Santa Barbara) is associate professor of sociology at Maryville College and author of Faithful Revolution: How Voice of the Faithful Is Changing the Church. Her second book (forthcoming) explores the use of “personal parishes” in response to cultural, ideological, and ethnic diversity among US Catholics. She also co-leads the American Parish Project and has conducted applied research for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Table of Contents

Part 1: This Moment in the Church
1. Reflections on This Moment in the Church 3
Most Reverend Daniel Flores 3
Reverend John I. Jenkins, CSC 8
Julie Hanlon Rubio 11
Christian Smith 16
Michael Sean Winters 21
2. The Scars to Prove It 27
Michael McGillicuddy
Part 2: Naming the Wounds
3. Polarized Preferences, Polarized Pews 33
Tricia C. Bruce
4. Whither Polarization? (Non) Polarization on the Ground 46
Susan Crawford Sullivan
5. Ecclesial Inflammation and LGBTQ Catholic Experiences 59
Brian P. Flanagan vi Polarization in the US Catholic Church
6. Polarization and Its Discontents 69
Holly Taylor Coolman
Part 3: Assessing the Problem
7. Left/Right Polarization as Culture Wars Captivity:
One Scholar's Journey and Analysis 79
David P. Gushee
8. The Art of Accompaniment 88
Amy Uelmen
9. When Discourse Breaks Down: Race and Aesthetic
Solidarity in the US Catholic Church 101
Nichole M. Flores
Part 4: Looking to the Future
10. Not Right or Left, Wrong or Right: Millennial Catholics and the Age of Mercy 113
Elizabeth Tenety
11. Polarization and Abortion:
Living Out Our Pro-Life Beliefs 119
Erin Stoyell-Mulholland
12. The Unheeded Middle: Catholic Conservative-Liberal
Polarities in an Increasingly Hispanic Church 130
Hosffman Ospino
13. Can the Church Transcend a Polarized Culture? 145
Michael Peppard
Conclusion: Resisting Polarization:
Naming a Moment of Hope 158
Charles C. Camosy

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