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Faithful Passages

American Catholicism in Literary Culture, 1844–1931

James Emmett Ryan

Roman Catholic writers in colonial America played only a minority role in debates about religion, politics, morality, national identity, and literary culture. However, the commercial print revolution of the nineteenth century, combined with the arrival of many European Catholic immigrants, provided a vibrant evangelical nexus in which Roman Catholic print discourse would thrive among a tightly knit circle of American writers and readers. James Emmett Ryan’s pathbreaking study follows the careers of important nineteenth-century religionists including Orestes Brownson, Isaac Hecker, Anna Hanson Dorsey, and Cardinal James Gibbons, tracing the distinctive literature that they created during the years that non-Catholic writers like Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson were producing iconic works of American literature.
    Faithful Passages also reveals new dimensions in American religious literary culture by moving beyond the antebellum period to consider how the first important cohort of Catholic writers shaped their message for subsequent generations of readers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Perhaps most strikingly, Ryan shows that by the early twentieth century, Roman Catholic themes and traditions in American literature would be advanced in complex ways by mainstream, non-Catholic modernist writers like Kate Chopin and Willa Cather.
    Catholic literary culture in the United States took shape in a myriad of ways and at the hands of diverse participants. The process by which Roman Catholic ideas, themes, and moralities were shared and adapted by writers with highly differentiated beliefs, Ryan contends, illuminates a surprising fluidity of religious commitment and expression in early U.S. literary culture.

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Fears and Fascinations

Representing Catholicism in the American South

Thomas Haddox

This innovative book charts what has been a largely unexplored literary landscape, looking at the work of such diverse writers as the gens de couleur libre poets of antebellum New Orleans, Kate Chopin, Mark Twain, Carson McCullers, Margaret Mitchell, Allen Tate, Caroline Gordon, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and John Kennedy Toole. Haddox shows that Catholicism and its Church have always been a presence, albeit in different ways, in the southern cultural tradition. For some, Catholicism has been associated with miscegenation and with the political aspirations of African-Americans; for others, it has served as the model for the feudal and patriarchal society that some southern whites sought to establish; for still others, it has presented a gorgeous aesthetic spectacle associated with decadence and homoeroticism; and for still others, it has marked a quotidian, do-it-yourself lifestyleattractive for its lack of concern with southern anxieties about honor. By focusing on the shifting and contradictory ways Catholicism has signified within southern literature and culture, Fears and Fascinations contributes to a more nuanced understanding of American and southern literary and cultural history.Thomas F. Haddox is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has published articles in American Literature, Mosaic, Modern Language Quarterly, Southern Quarterly, Mississippi Quarterly, and Walt Whitman Quarterly Review.

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Finding God in All Things

Celebrating Bernard Lonergan, John Courtney Murray, and Karl Rahner

Mark Bosco

Three of the most influential Catholic theologians of the twentieth century--Bernard Lonergan, John Courtney Murray, and Karl Rahner--were all born in 1904, at the height of the Church's most militant rhetoric against all things modern. In this culture of suspicion, Lonergan, Murray, and Rahner grew in faith to join the Society of Jesus and struggled with the burden of antimodernist policies in their formation. By the time of their mature work in the 1950s and 1960s, they had helped to redefine the critical dialogue between modern thought and contemporary Catholic theology.

After the d

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For Both Cross and Flag: Catholic Action, Anti-Catholicism, and National Security Politics in World War II San Francisco

Against a backdrop of war and anti-Catholic sentiment, one man loses his rights because he is falsely accused
In this fascinating, detailed history, William Issel recounts the civil rights abuses suffered by Sylvester Andriano, an Italian American Catholic civil leader whose religious and political activism in San Francisco provoked an Anti-Catholic campaign against him. A leading figure in the Catholic Action movement, Andriano was falsely accused in state and federal Un-American Activities Committee hearings of having Fascist sympathies prior to and during World War II. As his ordeal began, Andriano was subjected to a hostile investigation by the FBI, whose confidential informants were his political rivals. Furthermore, the U.S. Army ordered him to be relocated on the grounds that he was a security risk.

For Both Cross and Flag provides a dramatic illustration of what can happen when parties to urban political rivalries, rooted in religious and ideological differences, seize the opportunity provided by a wartime national security emergency to demonize their enemy as “a potentially dangerous person.”

Issel presents a cast of characters that includes archbishops, radicals, the Kremlin, and J. Edgar Hoover, to examine the significant role faith-based political activism played in the political culture that violated Andriano’s constitutional rights. Exploring the ramifications of this story, For Both Cross and Flag presents interesting implications for contemporary events and issues relating to urban politics, ethnic groups, and religion in a time of war.

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Fordham, A History of the Jesuit University of New York


Thomas J. Shelley

Based largely on archival sources in the United States and Rome, this book documents the evolution of Fordham from a small diocesan college into a major American Jesuit and Catholic university. It places the development of Fordham within the context of the massive expansion of Catholic higher education that took place in the United States in the twentieth century. This was reflected at Fordham in its transformation from a local commuter college to a predominantly residential institution that now attracts students from 48 states and 65 foreign countries to its three undergraduate schools and seven graduate and professional schools with an enrollment of more than 15,000 students. This is honest history that gives due credit to Fordham for its many academic achievements, but it also recognizes that Fordham shared the shortcomings of many Catholic colleges in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There was an ongoing struggle between Jesuit faculty who wished to adhere closely to the traditional Jesuit ratio studiorum and those who recognized the need for Fordham to modernize its curriculum to meet the demands of the regional accrediting agencies. In recent decades, like virtually all American Catholic universities and colleges, the ownership of Fordham has been transferred from the Society of Jesus to a predominantly lay board of trustees. At the same time, the sharp decline in the number of Jesuit administrators and faculty has intensified the challenge of offering a first-rate education while maintaining Fordham's Catholic and Jesuit identity.

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Foundational Theology

A New Approach to Catholic Fundamental Theology

by Neil Ormerod and Christiaan Jacobs-Vandegeer

Fundamental theology is traditionally viewed as the starting point for the various disciplines within Catholic theology; it is the place where solid foundations are established for the further research and engagement with the vast terrain of historical, systematic, philosophical, and sacramental/liturgical theology. In Foundational Theology, a landmark new study, Neil Ormerod and Christiaan Jacobs-Vandegeer seek to ground foundational theology in the normative drive toward meaning, truth, goodness, and beauty, appropriated by the theologian through religious, moral, intellectual, and psychic conversions. In doing so, the work maps out the implications of those fundamental orientations to the specific questions and topics of the Catholic theological tradition: God, Trinity, revelation, and an array of doctrinal points of investigation. The authors in this work provide a comprehensive approach to theological foundations for theologians while employing a new, groundbreaking approach to the discipline through the application of the insights of Bernard Lonergan, one of the foremost Catholic theologians of the modern era. 

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Fragmentation and Memory

Meditations onyChristian Doctrine

Karmen MacKendrick

Philosophers have long and skeptically viewed religion as a source of overeasy answers, with a singular, totalizing Godand the comfort of an immortal soul being the greatest among them. But religious thought has always been more interesting-indeed, a rich source of endlessly unfolding questions.With questions from the 1885 Baltimore Catechism of the Catholic Church as the starting point for each chapter, Karmen MacKendrick offers postmodern reflections on many of the central doctrines of the Church: the oneness of God, original sin, forgiveness, love and its connection to mortality, reverence for the relics of saints, and the doctrine of bodily resurrection. She maintains that we begin and end in questions and not in answers, in fragments and not in totalities-more precisely, in a fragmentation paradoxically integralto wholeness.Taking seriously Augustine's idea that we find the divine in memory, MacKendrick argues that memory does not lead us back in time to a tidy answer but opens onto a complicated and fragmented time in which we find that the one and the many, before and after and now, even sacred and profane are complexly entangled. Time becomes something lived, corporeal, and sacred, with fragments of eternity interspersed among the stretches of its duration. Our sense of ourselves is correspondingly complex, because theological considerations leadus not to the security of an everlasting, indivisible soul dwelling comfortably in the presence of a paternal deity but to a more complicated, perpetually peculiar, and paradoxical life in the flesh.Written out of MacKendrick's extensive background in both recent and late-ancient philosophy, this moving and poetic book can also be an inspiration to anyone, scholar or lay reader, seeking to find contemporary significance in these ancient theological doctrines.

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Francis of Assisi Heritage and Heirs

Eight Centuries Later

Thaddee Matura, translated by Paul Lachance

In this thought-provoking book Thaddée Matura offers a new way of lookingIn this thought-provoking book Thaddée Matura offers a new way of looking at how the Franciscan tradition was adapted and contemporized during the centuries. In a clear and accessible style he shows how the Franciscan Family has gotten to the stage it now enjoys and shows how liberating history can be and is. In 2004 Franciscan Institute Publications reprinted Matura’s Francis of Assisi: The Message in His Writings.

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