Chapter

Working Toward an Inclusive Narrative

JAMES T. FISHER and MARGARET M. MCGUINNESS

in The Catholic Studies Reader

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780823234103
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240906 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823234103.003.0015

Series: Catholic Practice in North America

Working Toward an Inclusive Narrative

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The author, a non-Catholic anthropologist of religion, raises some questions and concerns that have come up for her as an ethnographer who focuses on lived Christianities in the United States. She is convinced that the field of Catholic Studies can learn much from the history and ethnography of Spanish-speaking U.S. Catholics, and that studies of U.S. Hispanics must be interwoven with the histories of U.S. Catholicism and Christianity. She discovered that her status as a non-Catholic was viewed as an asset by some of her interlocutors, who sensed that a sympathetic account of their experience told from a Catholic perspective might arouse suspicion in some readers. The author's methodological self-awareness serves to reaffirm not only that interdisciplinary scholarship is arduous and complex, but also that Catholic Studies attracts practitioners from a wide array of backgrounds driven by intellectual curiosity and the desire to share meaningful stories.

Keywords: Catholics; Catholicism; Catholic Studies; Hispanics; interdisciplinary scholarship; ethnography; U.S.

Chapter.  8251 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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