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BOOK REVIEWS147 insights that can be gained from the Canadian border, a site that both separates and joinstwonationsand makes possible a"paraUel historical discourse"from an outsider's perspective. Catherine Albanese speaks of contact and combination over the course ofAmerican religious history in terms of a get economy; she deemphasizes ideology but does not faU to point out that gift-giving is never free of conflict and the covering over of compUcated interactions and innovations. As interesting as the essays themselves is the background Tweed suppUes about the construction of the volume. It was a coUaborative effort instigated by Tweed that demanded "much more contact with each other than usuaUy is the case" in edited coUections. The enterprise also requUed a seU-consciousness about method that is helpfuUy but not doggedly apparent and a wUlingness to let some disagreements stand about such matters as whether metanarratives are possible or desirable and the extent to which fictional and historical narratives resemble each other. There is a strong presence of the underlying question , "How should we think about these things?"—both history and American reUgious history.There is also evidence in these essays that the writing of history can be highly pleasurable as well as arduous, and I do not consider this a negUgible contribution of the volume. For those of us interested in American Catholic history, Retelling U.S. Religious History demonstrates that Catholicism can be more creatively tategrated into historical accounts of religion in America than has often been the case Ui the past. AU the essays include references to Roman CathoUcism and its frequent and complex participation in the issues and themes that make up this volume. Mary Farrell Bednarowski United Theological Seminary ofthe Twin Cities Rome and the New Republic: Conflict and Community in Philadelphia Catholicism between the Revolution and the Civil War. By Dale B. Light. (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press. 1996. Pp. xii, 448. $48.95.) Dale Light's Rome and the New Republic argues in almost HegeUan fashion that Philadelphia's small Catholic consensual community of the eighteenth century —which was organized around the principles of hierarchy, deference, and ascribed status—was challenged during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries by principles of American democracy and egalitarianism and that its unity was dissolved when contending factions (i.e., trustees and their opponents) created a schism within the community.That contention was overcome between 1830 and the Civil War when a Roman-taspeed restoration movement led by ultramontane bishops (Francis Patrick Kenrick and John Nepomucene Neumann) gained control of the ecclesiastical community, returned it to a state of peace, and cemented a new relationship with Roman as- 148BOOK REVIEWS pirations that even the eighteenth-century community never had. In the end Roman authoritarianism won out over the American democratic aspirations of trustees.The bishops and clergy, moreover, were able to win because they had on thee side a class ofsmaU industriaUsts and prosperous laity (or those who aspeed to prosperity) for whom tranquUlity within the community was in there own economic interests. The book is divided into three major sections (the decline of community, schism, and the construction of community) that articulate the above thesis. Light maintains that the conflicts within the CathoUc community produced neither a repubUcan, nor an immigrant,nor a specüicaUyAmerican church—a challenge to some recent historical models of understanding CathoUcism. The CathoUc community that emerged by the CivU War was the product of the institutional imperatives (i.e., authoritarianism,universalism, supernaturaUsm, and communaUsm) emanating from Restoration Rome and the class imperatives of the industrial society. Interpreting the Restoration movement primarily in poUtical and cultural, not reUgious or theological, terms, Light suggests that its ultimate effect was to isolate CathoUcs from the dominant values ofAmerican civil culture and, UonicaUy to create a great giüf between the ecclesiastical estabUshment and the immigrant population it sought to serve. As far as I am aware, no other study of PhUadelphia Catholicism has been as successful as Light's in taterpreting the CathoUc experience in the light of the emerging poUtical and social context of the early American Republic.The disadvantage of Light's history is that the American social...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 147-148
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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