In Search of an American Catholicism

Jay P. Dolan

in In Search of an American Catholicism

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780195069266
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834143 | DOI:
In Search of an American Catholicism

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Examines the period from 1880–1920, when Catholicism's relationship with American culture intensified. There are five themes: (1) The study of the interaction between Catholicism and American culture is expanded, while continuing to focus on democracy and how this core American value influenced the Catholic community; (2) An examination is also made of the European devotional style of Catholicism that flourished at that time and how it shaped Catholicism; (3) The issue of American national identity is also addressed in relation to Catholicism – this became a major topic of debate in the 1880s and 1890s; (4) The Americanization of Catholic doctrine started as the American cultural traditions of democracy and religious freedom persuaded some Catholics to reexamine Catholic teaching on church and state and religious freedom – as a result, American Catholicism began to take on a distinctiveness that would set it apart from its counterparts in such countries as Italy and France; (5) The final theme examined is that of gender – with the emergence of the American ideal of gender equality, an awakening clearly began to take place among Catholics, which sought to modify the traditional understanding of the role of women in society. These five themes are examined in more detail in the next two chapters.

Keywords: American Catholicism; American culture; American national identity; Americanism; Americanization; Americanization of Catholic doctrine; Catholic doctrine; Catholicism; culture; democracy; devotional Catholicism; European Catholicism; gender; gender equality; history; interactions; national identity; religious freedom; women

Chapter.  18076 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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