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American Catholics, American Culture

Tradition and Resistance

Edited by Margaret O'Brien Steinfels - Other Peter Steinfels and Robert Royal - Contributions by J Bottum; Gail Buckley; Daniel Callahan; Michele Dillon; Richard M. Doerflinger; William Donohue; Brian Doyle; Kenneth J. Doyle; Paul Elie; James T. Fisher; Andrew M. Greeley; Luke Timothy Johnson; Mark Massa; John T. McGreevy; Paul Moses; Susan A. Ross; Valerie Sayers; Mary C. Segers; Mark Silk; Peter Steinfels; Barbara Dafoe Whitehead; Alan Wolfe and Kenneth L. Woodward

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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Sheed & Ward
Pages: 224Size: 6 1/2 x 9
978-0-7425-3160-4 • Hardback • March 2004 • $103.00 • (£70.00)
978-0-7425-3161-1 • Paperback • March 2004 • $33.00 • (£22.95)
978-1-4617-1768-3 • eBook • March 2004 • $31.00 • (£21.95)
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, co-director of American Catholics in the Public Square project, was the editor of Commonweal from 1988 to 2002.
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
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.
America: The Jesuit Review of Faith & Culture

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.
Library Journal