Contesting Protestant Interpretations

Thomas A. Tweed

in America's Church

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199782987
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897384 | DOI:
Contesting Protestant Interpretations

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This chapter discusses how the Shrine's Crypt Church served as response to Protestant interpretations of Roman Catholic belief and practice. During the period of consolidation—and before the decline of the Protestant establishment in the 1960s—U.S. Catholics had to make meaning and negotiate power in relation to Protestants. And just as many ordinary lay Catholics, who negotiated daily in the workplace and the streets with their Protestant neighbors, had a presence at the Shrine by giving and going, so, too, the Shrine's clerical planners found that they were able to make their presence felt there—by materially manifesting their own desires in the building itself. Yet Protestants had a presence in the Shrine, too. It was not only the Protestant landscape architects, Olmsted and Olmsted, who recommended where to situate the Shrine on the campus plan, or the many non-Catholics who later visited and donated, like Susanna Fay, the Protestant donor of one of the apsidal altars. Protestants also were always lurking in the Crypt Church's subterranean shadows, as the incorporeal Other against which those clerics had to define themselves and against whom they felt they had to defend their embattled Church.

Keywords: Protestants; Catholics; Catholicism; Crypt Church; consolidation; Shrine

Chapter.  13528 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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