American Catholicism Transformed: From the Cold War Through the Council

ISBN : 9780197573006

Joseph P. Chinnici
480 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jun 2021
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Situating the church within the context of post-World War II globalization and the Cold War, American Catholicism Transformed draws on previously untapped archival sources to provide deep background to developments within the American Catholic Church in relationship to American society at large. Shaped by anti-communist sentiment and responsive to American cultural trends, the Catholic community adopted "strategies of domestic containment," stressing the close unity between the Church and the "American way of life." A focus on the unchanging character of God's law as expressed in social hierarchies of authority, race, and gender provided a public visage of unity and uniformity. However, the emphasis on American values mainstreamed into the community the political values of personal rights, equality, acceptance of the arms race, and muted the Church's inherited social vision. The result was a deep ambivalence over the forces of secularization. The Catholic community entered a transitional stage in which "those on the right" and "those on the left" battled for control of the Church's vision. International networking, reform of religious life among women, international congresses of the laity, the institutionalization of the liturgical movement, and the burgeoning civil right movement positioned the community to receive the Vatican Council in a distinctly American way. During the Second Vatican Council, the American bishops and theological experts gradually adopted the reforming currents of the world-wide Church. This convergence of international and national forces of renewal - and resistance to them - says Joseph Chinnici, will continue to shape the American Catholic community's identity in the twenty-first century.


Preface: The Post-War World and the Council
Part I: From the Cold War to Civil Rights
1. From World War II to Cold War Catholicism
2. Religious Renewal in the Context of Secularism
3. Diversities, Silence, and Open Conflict
4. Civil Rights and Catholic Mobilization
Part II: The Second Vatican Council
5. The Preparatory Phases 1959-1962
6. The First Session
7. Interim Periods, Debates on the Church and Liturgy
8. Building Bridges to the World 1963-1965
9. The Word in the World 1964-1965
10. Epilogue: Spirit and Letter
Index $ https://global.oup.com/academic/product/9780197573006 $ YQR
HRAX $ Educational: Religious studies
Religion: general
Nature & existence of God
Religious ethics
Religion & politics
History of religion

About the author: 

Joseph P. Chinnici is President Emeritus of the Franciscan School of Theology at the University of San Diego and continues to teach there. He dedicated his life as a Franciscan priest to the education of graduate students for ministry.

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