In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS157 distributist movement to enlarge their own critique of modern mass culture and to defend the southern way of Ufe. The profound Unpact of the Neo-Thomist revival and its chief interpreter to America, Jacques Maritata, is also noted.Thomism's impact upon preconcUiar American lay CathoUc tateUectuals has long been clear.Tate was senUarly impressed ; as an tateUectual systemThomism informedTate's Uterary theory,deepened his social analysis, and eventuaUy shaped his New Criticism. This is a richly thoughtful book and it broadens our perspective of the impact of the Catholic Uterary revival in America. The latest scholarship on the CathoUc Revival,AUenTate studies, and the Southern Agrarian Movement is evident Üiroughout.The author's clear and uncluttered prose makes this volume accessible to readers with only Umited backgrounds in the subject. Arnold Sparr St. Francis College, Brooklyn, New York Parish Boundaries: The Catholic Encounter with Race in the Twentieth Century Urban North. By JohnT. McGreevy. [Historical Studies ofUrban America .] (Chicago:The University of Chicago Press. 1996. Pp. vi, 362. $27.50.) Parish Boundaries, winner of the 1996 John GUmary Shea Prize, is a remarkable accompUshment. InteUectual and social history of the highest order, the book examines the painful confrontation of mid-century urban "white" Catholics (i.e., asstaiUating second-and third-generation Euro-American ethnic groups) and the African-Americans who migrated en masse to the North in 1940's.When blacks sought inner-city housing and threatened property values, Jews and white Protestants yielded, and fled, more readUy than did white Catholics.The sacramental imagination of CathoUcs gave their impressive communal spaces—outsize physical plants composed of church, school, rectory, and parish center—a sacred character. Designating a space "sacred" qualified it, in a sadly uncritical way, as divinely mandated, to be preserved in its racial and ethnic particularity at risk of Ufe, property, and a few gospel imperatives (e.g., "welcome the stranger,""love the enemy") along the way. Sacramental imagination thus degenerated into enclave mentaUty. Mediating the encounter was the Church, increasingly riven into two camps. Liberals, led by American exponents of papal social teaching such as Father John LaFarge, SJ., or by Black Power radicals such as MUwaukee's Father James Groppi, embraced the doctrine oftaterraciaUsm.Their opponents,protectors of the "invisible" CathoUc middle class, such as the Chicago priest Francis X. Lawlor, were early exponents of the doctrine of reverse discrimtaation.The rift deepened with the advent of the civU rights movement and the SecondVatican CouncU—two epochal events which the author deftly analyzes in relation to one another and to his theme. Indeed, the polarization of the Church along the lines of racial ideology serves as a prism through which to view the complex 158BOOK REVIEWS history of American CathoUcism in the traumatic decades surrounding the CouncU—decades that saw the disintegration of the measure of CathoUc unity ensured by preconcUiar Uturgical and theological uneormity a crippling loss of trust in parochial institutions and ecclesial authority, and the wrenching transition from a preconcUiar"Church Militant" to a scripturaUy resonant but sociaUy amorphous "People of God." Preserving and exploring such complexity is McGreevy's forte. His narrative taiposes no easy resolutions, aUows the evidence to speak (often very powerfully ) for itsetf, and remains focused on explaUitag, rather than celebrating or denouncing, the partiaUy compelling logics on all sides. Rigid stereotypes seldom survive this approach. To counter the impression that Uberal CathoUcs were always highly educated elites divorced from the everyday world of the CathoUc parishioner, for example, McGreevy profiles Anna McGarry a CathoUc laywoman who defied the social conventions of her anti-tategrationist parish (Gesu Church, PhUadelphia) by advocating taterraciaUsm and welcoming African-American leaders (and LaFarge himself) into the parish and her home. The book is enormously edifying, and a pleasure to read.The author denned his project with great care and did not attempt to write the six or seven other good books embedded in this one.As researcher, he was thorough to a fault; one suspects, gratefully, that he spent many hours sUttag through and editing the copious research notes compUed during numerous trips to archives in Chicago, PhUadelphia, New York, Boston, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and several smaller cities.As writer...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 157-159
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.