Roman Catholicism in America
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Number of Pages: 366
Who are American Catholics and what do they believe and practice? What is distinctive about the expression of Catholicism in America and how have Catholics influenced and been influenced by American culture and society? What different types of Catholics make up the church today? Chester Gillis offers a cogent survey of U.S. Catholic history, emphasizing the post-Vatican II era, and goes on to explore the various roles and missions of the church in education, health care, charity, and more. One of the themes running through the narrative is the persistent tension between Rome and the American church, which is shaped by a thoroughly modern, dynamic, and secular culture. Also discussed is the changing role of authority and how Catholic notions of authority have changed over the past forty years and why.
Gillis writes as an authentic insider, focusing on American Catholic identity and community and addressing an audience that specifically includes non-Catholics who are searching for what it is that distinguishes Catholics from their American culture. -- D.W. Ferm Choice This sturdy, well presented and well written portrait of Catholicism in the USA fills a serious gap in the marketplace. Centering on Catholic identity and community, Gillis performs an unenviable task well, of providing a useful introductory account of the largest religious group in the USA. Journal of Contemporary Religion This new series... portrays the diversity and complexity of religious life in America. Library Journal Gillis, the lead-off batter in the new Columbia Contemporary Religion series, has made a solid hit into left center field with this clear, engaging and reliable introduction to U.S. Catholicism...If the rest of the books in this series meet the standard set by Gillis, they will be an invaluable resource for interfaith understanding and harmony in this religious smorgasbord of a country. -- Jon Nilson Christian Century Gillis's inviting prose and discerning insights make this a fine introduction to American Catholicism. Publishers Weekly