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Faith and the Historian

Catholic Perspectives

Nick Salvatore

Publication Year: 2007

Faith and the Historian collects essays from eight experienced historians discussing the impact of being touched? by Catholicism on their vision of history. That first graduate seminar, these essays suggest, did not mark the inception of ones historical sensibilities; rather, the process had deeper, and earlier, roots. The authors­--ranging from cradle to the grave? Catholics to those who havent practiced for forty years, and everywhere in between--explicitly investigate the interplay between their personal lives and beliefs and the sources of their professional work. A variety of heartfelt, illuminating, and sometimes humorous experiences emerge from these stories of intelligent people coming to terms with their Catholic backgrounds as they mature and enter the academy. Contributors include: Philip Gleason, David Emmons, Maureen Fitzgerald, Joseph A. McCartin, Mario T. García, Nick Salvatore, James R. Barrett, and Anne M. Butler.

Published by: University of Illinois Press

front cover

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

The conference from which this volume grew could not have occurred if not for the encouragement and support of Professor James Turner of the University of Notre Dame, who was then also the director of the Erasmus Institute on that campus. ...

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pp. 1-6

In March 2001, a small group of historians of American life gathered at Cornell University to share their thinking on how an experience with Catholicism had affected their approach to history.1 Not all the participants were practicing Catholics, but all who gave papers, whatever their current beliefs, were born into Catholic families ...

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1. Becoming (and Being) a Catholic historian

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pp. 7-30

I am (although I am not fond of the expression) a “cradle Catholic,” and I hope to be a cradle-to-grave Catholic. For me, Catholicism is not a matter of looking back on the influence of a no-longer-operative “identity.” Being a Catholic is, rather, so closely linked with my past and present sense of myself ...

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2. Personal Landscapes of Catholicism: From East to West

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pp. 31-48

On the always-turbulent landing approach to the Salt Lake City airport, one feels the West rise up in greeting. The intermountain West, embraced by the northern Rockies in one direction and the Sierra Nevada in the other, awaits. Snow-topped peaks soar stunningly into the air, the out-of-place Great Salt Lake lies still upon the valley floor, ...

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3. Homecoming: Finding a Catholic Hermeneutic

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pp. 49-81

Early in the fall of 1990, I got a call from Albert Borgmann, a University of Montana professor of philosophy and one of the university’s most distinguished scholars. The call was to invite me to the faculty’s Philosophy Forum, a healthy mix of the solemn and the hilarious and one of the university’s more durable and useful traditions. ...

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4. In Search of Chicano Catholic Identity and History

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pp. 82-97

While I was a college student at the University of Texas at El Paso, every Sunday morning I drove my grandmother, whom we called Nama, to 6:30 Mass. This was from 1962 to 1966, years that coincided with Vatican II but before its liturgical reforms became very evident. ...

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5. Deeply Within: Catholicism, Faith, and History

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pp. 98-116

I find myself in Detroit, Michigan, on any one of many Sundays between 1998 and 2004. I get off the Lodge Freeway, take a right on West Grand, past Ford Hospital, past Hitsville, Motown’s original home, and on past some badly run-down houses, to Linwood. ...

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6. The Blessed Virgin Made Me a Socialist: An Experiment in Catholic Autobiography and the Historical Understanding of Race and Class

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pp. 117-147

As Renee Remond has observed, historians are taught “to be on their guard against subjectivity, their own as much as others’. They know from experience the precariousness of recollection, the unreliability of first-person testimony. . . . Everyone has an unconscious tendency to introduce a factitious coherence into the path of his [sic] life. ...

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7. Lost at the Drive-In

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pp. 148-164

Several years ago I gave a talk at the College of William and Mary on my own struggles with subjectivity and research, especially as they pertained to my work on Irish Catholic women historically and my quite complex relation to Catholicism. At the end of the talk, a perceptive colleague asked me what should not have been a startling question; ...

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8. Utraque Unum: Finding My Way as a Catholic and a Historian

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pp. 165-186

It was my threatened excommunication that made me think seriously about the relationship between my Catholicism and my work as a historian. In 1999, I faced the prospect of being officially barred from the Church of my birth, severed from a connection that had shaped my life more than any other except perhaps my family ...

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pp. 187-190

James R. Barrett, professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago and studied comparative working-class history at Warwick University and the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his Ph.D. in 1981. ...


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pp. 191-196

back cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780252092343
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252031434

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2007