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  • Dissertation Abstracts


Institution Title Page
The Catholic University of America A Church Apart: The Catholic Church in the Rural South, 1939–1990 ................................ 89
Drew University State of Faith: Irish-Catholic Church Hierarchy of New Jersey and Reactions to Civil Government Initiatives, 1946–1962 ............... 89
Duquesne University Rebuilding the Catholic Brand in America: An Isocratean Perspective........................................ 90
Graduate Theological Union ‘I Am My Brother’s Keeper’: American Catholic Civic Engagement Through JustFaith Ministries ................................ 91
Indiana University “No Middle Ground”: The Rise of Abortion Politics, 1960s–1980s ............. 91
Marquette University Long Journeys to Middle Ground: Indians, Catholics, and the Origins of aNew Deal in Montana and Idaho, 1855–1945 .......... 92

[End Page 88]


Smith, Seth R., A Church Apart: The Catholic Church in the Rural South, 1939–1990. The Catholic University of America. ProQuest LLC, 2016. 10117144.

This dissertation examines Catholicism in the rural South to answer three questions. The first is how did priests and lay Catholics engage in a pluralistic American society before and after Vatican II while drastically outnumbered? The second is what did it mean to be part of the universal Catholic Church while isolated geographically, socially, and institutionally? Finally, how do we balance the impact of major national and international events on the Catholicism in the rural South with the importance of local context? This dissertation seeks to answer these questions by examining the history of seven parishes – four pastored by Glenmary Home Missioners and three pastored by non-Glenmarians – in the rural South between 1939 and 1990.

Throughout much of the twentieth century, Southern Catholics were regarded with suspicion by their neighbors without the protections offered by numbers or their own confessional institutions. Catholics in the rural South dealt with this in two ways. The first was by emphasizing their Southerness. Apart from their religious beliefs, they were virtually indistinguishable from their fellow Southerners, and their views on politics, economics, and race hewed much closer to their non-Catholic neighbors than their co-religionists in the North. The second way Catholics in the rural South dealt with an inhospitable religious climate was to make a conscious choice to be Catholic. There was no “cultural” Catholicism here, and minus institutional support, they emphasized the signifiers, such as liturgy, sacred space, and the priest, that marked them as religiously separate. They wanted to be good Southerners, but they wanted to belong to Rome too.

The dissertation finds that Catholicism in the rural South could not have grown during the second half of the twentieth century without the New Deal and World War II stimulating the region’s economic modernization or the support and priests offered by Catholicism in the urban North. The Civil Rights Movement and Second Vatican Council altered what it meant to be Catholic here as well. Rural Southern Catholics viewed these national and international events primarily through the lens of local concerns, which reinforced their sense of isolation and Southerness.


Delozier, Alan Bernard, State of Faith: Irish-Catholic Church Hierarchy of New Jersey and Reactions to Civil Government Initiatives, 1946–1962. Drew University. ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2015. 3689899.

This dissertation focuses on the dynamics of church and state relations in New Jersey during the mid-twentieth century as it relates to the complex and varied aspects of secularism. At this time, the lure of material rewards, expanded opportunities, and broader awareness of society outside of the Roman Catholic Church, and other challenged traditional devotion and sacrifice for a new generation of Americans who had survived the Great Depression and World War II years. American Catholic assimilation, especially among those of Irish extraction within American society, took on greater stature during the mid-twentieth century. New Jersey in particular became a microcosm of the American democratic experience, as evidenced in a wide range of civil government programs such as the GI Bill, suburbanization, and a boom in white collar employment. If not overtly found during the working week and not named [End Page 89] explicitly as a motive for political action, religious influence often permeated policy matters, whether commercial, judicial or educational in origin. This study looks at how the bishops of New Jersey attempted to curtail...


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