Chapter

American Culture and Religion

James L. Heft S.M.

in Catholic High Schools

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199796656
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919352 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199796656.003.0003
American Culture and Religion

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This chapter highlights five general themes in contemporary US culture that leaders of Catholic high schools need to understand. The first two are clearly historically rooted: the stress on individual and especially religious freedom, and then, as the different types of religious practices multiplied in the United States, the effort to privatize the expression of religion. The last three are recent cultural developments that are especially influential today. These are the impact of media, the therapeutic shape that religious belief takes in a culture that stresses individual choice in the midst of religious pluralism, and the growing number of people who have been described as the “spiritual but not religious”.

Keywords: contemporary culture; Catholic high schools; adolescents; religious freedom; individualism; cultural influence; religious belief; religious pluralism

Chapter.  10873 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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