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Catholicism and Historical Narrative

A Catholic Engagement with Historical Scholarship

Edited by Kevin Schmiesing

Stories about the past shape not only the way people think about history, but also the way they act in the present. Nowhere is this truer than in the area of religion, which has been and continues to be a powerful motivating force in the lives of billions around the globe. In this volume, Catholicism and Historical Narrative: A Catholic Engagement with Historical Scholarship, contributors explore the way stories are constructed and show how a focus on Catholic figures and concerns challenges common understandings of important historical episodes and eras.

Editor Kevin Schmiesing has gathered a distinguished group of scholars who, in various ways, call into question conventional story lines by highlighting previously neglected Catholic ideas and individuals. Built on ample evidence and employing keen insight, each essay is the result of cutting-edge research in fields ranging from historical research on Puritan New England and the antebellum South to the history of abortion to the twentieth-century papacy.

Students and scholars of religious history, Catholic historians, and anyone interested in the intersection of religion and history will all find here much to interest—and maybe even surprise—in the chapters' arguments concerning the deficiencies of history's dominant narratives. The volume's focus on the history of Catholics in the United States makes it essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the place of Catholicism in the American story.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 226Size: 6 x 9
978-0-8108-8857-9 • Hardback • January 2014 • $87.00 • (£60.00)
978-0-8108-8858-6 • eBook • January 2014 • $84.99 • (£54.95)
Kevin Schmiesing is a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Author of two books on the history of Catholicism in the United States, he writes and speaks on Church history in a wide variety of venues, including academic journals, online magazines, and radio.
Introduction by Kevin Schmiesing

Chapter 1 : Audience, Method, Subject, and Faith: Dilemmas of the Catholic Historian
Paul Radzilowski

Chapter 2: The Opening of the American Mind: Puritan Scholasticism at Harvard, 1636–1700
Scott McDermott

Chapter 3: Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin, and the American Narrative
Tom Jodziewicz

Chapter 4: A Convenient Untruth: The Pro-Choice Invention of an Era of Abortion Freedom
Keith Cassidy

Chapter 5: Catholicism and Birth Control in American History: The Sanger-Ryan Debate
Clement Mulloy

Chapter 6: “Where Religious Freedom Runs in the Streams”: Catholic Expansion in Newport, Rhode Island in the Antebellum Era
John F. Quinn

Chapter 7: The Power of Historical Narrative: Bishop John England, American Catholicism, and the National Jubilee of 1826
Adam Tate

Chapter 8: Valiant Women of Faith and Action: Finding Catholic Sisters in the Story of Nineteenth-Century America
Marynita Anderson

Chapter 9: Popes, Catholics, and Jews: E questa la maniera di fare storia?
Ernest Greco

About the Contributors
This collection of nine essays, seven of which are mainly on American history, is preceded by a brief introduction by its editor, Kevin Schmiesing. The opening essay is a thoughtful general piece by Paul Radzilowski on 'Audience, Method, Subject, and Faith: Dilemmas of the Catholic Historian.' Radzilowski makes good use of some of Christopher Dawson’s writings and is also in dialogue with one of the most penetrating Catholic historians today, Christopher Shannon. Radzilowski has a number of citations and appreciations of this reviewer’s work, which in turn lists appropriate bibliography.
The Catholic Historical Review