Toward Catholicism as Lifestyle: Walker Percy, John Kennedy Toole, and Rebecca Wells

Thomas F. Haddox

in Fears and Fascinations

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780823225217
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236947 | DOI:
Toward Catholicism as Lifestyle: Walker             Percy, John Kennedy Toole, and Rebecca Wells

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During the decade from 1955 to 1965, the civil rights movement emerged as a major political force in the South, and despite fierce resistance from southern whites, it began to achieve success. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 abolished de jure racial segregation and ensured black southerners' right to vote, thus sounding the death knell of what many had long identified as the “southern way of life”. Older constructions of southernness and Catholicism have not simply disappeared; they continue to circulate in forms that are increasingly unpredictable, joining with and separating from the newer constructions. Nor is it always clear that departures always mark an advance, politically or aesthetically: if recent forms of Catholicism have suggested a new emphasis on equality, they have also been easily co-opted by the forces of consumer culture that are, more than ever, neither American nor southern, but global in their reach.

Keywords: civil rights; southern whites; Civil Rights Act; Voting Rights Act; Catholicism; equality; right to vote; racial segregation; southernness

Chapter.  17296 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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