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Access to God in Augustine's Confessions

Books X-XIII

This is the final volume in Carl G. Vaught’s groundbreaking trilogy reappraising Augustine’s Confessions, a cornerstone of Western philosophy and one of the most influential works in the Christian tradition. Vaught offers a new interpretation of the philosopher as less Neoplatonic and more distinctively Christian than most interpreters have thought. In this book, he focuses on the most philosophical section of the Confessions and on how it relates to the previous, more autobiographical sections. A companion to the previous two volumes, which dealt with Books I–IX, this book can be read either in sequence with or independently of the others. Books X–XIII of the Confessions begin after Augustine has become Bishop of Hippo and they are separated by more than ten years from the episodes recorded in the previous nine books of the text. This establishes the narrative in the present and speaks to the “believing sons of men.” Augustine explores how memory, time, and creation make the journey toward God and the encounter with God possible. Vaught analyzes these conditions in order to unlock Augustine’s solutions to familiar philosophical and theological problems. He also tackles the frequently discussed problem of the alleged disconnection between the earlier books and the last four books by showing how Augustine binds experience and reflection together.

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Across God's Frontiers

Catholic Sisters in the American West, 1850-1920

Anne M. Butler

Roman Catholic sisters first traveled to the American West as providers of social services, education, and medical assistance. In Across God’s Frontiers, Anne M. Butler traces the ways in which sisters challenged and reconfigured contemporary ideas about women, work, religion, and the West; moreover, she demonstrates how religious life became a vehicle for increasing women’s agency and power.

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Adoration and Annihilation

The Convent Philosophy of Port-Royal

John J. Conley, S.J.

In seventeenth-century France, southwest of Paris, the Port-Royal convent became the center of the Jansenist movement and of its adherents’ resistance to church and throne. Three abbesses from the Arnauld family spearheaded this resistance: Mère Angélique Arnauld (1591-1661), Mère Agnès Arnauld (1593-1671), and Mère Angélique de Saint-Jean Arnauld d'Andilly (1624-1684). Although many books have been written about the tragic lives of the Port-Royal nuns, John J. Conley provides the first study of the radical Augustinian philosophy developed by these remarkable abbesses during decades of persecution by Louis XIV and his ecclesiastical allies. Openly declaring themselves “disciples of Saint Augustine,” the Arnauld abbesses forged a philosophy notable for its original treatment of the attributes that stressed divine otherness; a moral philosophy of virtue rooted in grace; and a politics that supported the right of women to resist abuses of religious and civil authority. Although their philosophy was clearly influenced by their male Jansenist mentors, the nuns’ radical Augustinianism maintains its own gendered originality: their philosophy of virtue is closely tied to practices valued in a contemplative convent setting; their defense of freedom of conscience is linked to their defense of women’s right to exercise religious authority; and their negative theology, focused on divine incomprehensibility, depicts a God beyond sexual difference. A fascinating account that includes translations ranging from abbatial conferences to private letters, Adoration and Annihilation is an important chronicle of the doctrinal battles of early modern Catholicism.

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Adoring the Saints

Fiestas in Central Mexico

By Yolanda Lastra, Dina Sherzer, and Joel Sherzer

Mexico is famous for spectacular fiestas that embody its heart and soul. An expression of the cult of the saint, patron saint fiestas are the centerpiece of Mexican popular religion and of great importance to the lives and cultures of people and communities. These fiestas have their own language, objects, belief systems, and practices. They link Mexico’s past and present, its indigenous and European populations, and its local and global relations. This work provides a comprehensive study of two intimately linked patron saint fiestas in the state of Guanajuato, near San Miguel de Allende—the fiesta of the village of Cruz del Palmar and that of the town of San Luis de la Paz. These two fiestas are related to one another in very special ways involving both religious practices and their respective pre-Hispanic origins. A mixture of secular and sacred, patron saint fiestas are multi-day affairs that include many events, ritual specialists, and performers, with the participation of the entire community. Fiestas take place in order to honor the saints, and they are the occasion for religious ceremonies, processions, musical performances, dances, and dance dramas. They feature spectacular costumes, enormous puppets, masked and cross-dressed individuals, dazzling fireworks, rodeos, food stands, competitions, and public dances. By encompassing all of these events and performances, this work displays the essence of Mexico, a lens through which this country’s complex history, religion, ethnic mix, traditions, and magic can be viewed.

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Advent to Pentecost

Comparing the Seasons in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite

Patrick Regan, OSB
Foreword by Rev. Msgr. Kevin W. Irwin

Since 2007, use of the Roman Missal of 1962 has been broadly permitted within the church. This creates, in effect, two liturgical years running concurrently. In Advent to Pentecost, Abbot Patrick Regan compares the prayers and prefaces, readings and rubrics, calendar and chants of the 1962 Missal with those of the Missal as it was revised following the Second Vatican Council, now in its third edition. The result is a striking demonstration of the splendor and superiority of the reformed Missal over its predecessor, at least as far as the liturgical year is concerned.Regan's chapters on Advent, Lent, and the Easter Season are particularly informative because these seasons are so different in the two missals. Perhaps less obvious are the differences between Holy Week and the Triduum. Regan not only describes external modifications in the services as restored by Pius XII in 1956 but explores deeper theological currents, especially in the relationship between the passion and resurrection of the Lord in the one paschal mystery, to show how advances in this area find expression in the current Triduum celebrations and throughout the fifty days of Easter. The originality of the book lies mainly here. The most urgent liturgical challenge today, the author contends, is to raise the ars celebrandi to the same level of excellence as the Missal itself.

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Aeled of Rievaulx

Spiritual Friendship

Marsha L. Dutton, Editor; Lawrence C. Braceland, Translator

Spiritual Friendship is today the best known and perhaps most influential of the thirteen surviving works of Aelred, abbot of the great English Cistercian abbey of Rievaulx from 1147 '1167. During his abbacy he built Rievaulx into a place of spiritual welcome and physical prosperity, desiring to make it a mother of mercy" to those in need. In a three-book Ciceronian dialogue Aelred defines human friendship as sacramental, beginning in creation, as God sought to place his own love of society in al his creatures, linking friends to Christ in this life and culminating in friendship with God in beatitude. This fresh new translation makes the work crisply readable, allowing the intellectual and Christian insight of this great Cistercian teacher and writer to speak clearly to today's seekers of love, wisdom, and truth.Lawrence C. Braceland, was professor of classics and dean at Ignatius College, Guelph (Canada), until in 1963 becoming professor of classics and dean of arts and sciences at St. Paul's College, the University of Manitoba. After his retirement in 1-978, he devoted himself to Cistercian scholarship, publishing numerous articles and translating in four volumes al the works of the English Cistercian abbot Gilbert of Hoyland.Marshal. Dutton, professor of medieval literature and director of graduate studies in English at Ohio University, is along time student of the works of Aelred of Rievaulx and of other twelfth-century Cistercian writers. She is associate editor of Cistercian Studies Quarterly. In addition to her many articles on Cistercian thought, Dutton has written the introduction to Vita Aelredi (CF 57) and edited Aelred's The Historical Works and Lives of the Northern Saints (CF 56, 71) as well as preparing a critical edition of Aelred's Pastoral Prayer (CF 73). She was one of the editors of Truth as Gift: Studies in Cistercian History Honoring John R. Sommerfeldt (CS 204)."

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African Catholic Priests

Confronting an Identity Problem

This is a timely book on the contemporary African priesthood. Just as in other parts of the globe, the African priesthood currently faces a serious crisis of identity. The unfolding crisis puts stress on the clerics and augments the tension with lay people. The model of the Church-as-Family of God opted for by the Church in Africa is a new milestone that puts pressure on Catholic priests to define their role in the new context. The identity and image of priests need to be specified as lay ministries render the Church active from the grassroots. Reflection about the ministry of the clergy in Africa is urgent, and indeed it is an important aspect of enculturation. Nyenyembe demonstrates an admirable capacity to situate his rich theological reflections in an African context.

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All Creation is Groaning

An Interdisciplinary Vision for Life in a Sacred Universe

Weavers; Foreword by Walter BrueggemannCarol J. Dempsey and Russell A. Butkus, Editors and

This multi-academic perspective on contemporary environmental issues reminds us of our oneness with the natural world and what that calls us to as moral creatures. Fashioned as a series of stories based on the model of biblical narrative, these seemingly multivalent voices and perspectives are joined together with biblical stories, references, and theological reflection to create in al Creation Is Groaning a seamless story that is both provocative and revelatory.al Creation Is Groaning provides a clear Vision of living life in a sacred universe. This Vision is linked to the biblical Vision of justice and righteousness for al of creation, and humankind's responsibility to hasten the Vision through a call to ethical practice. Critical and hermeneutical, this book reflects an interdisciplinary approach so as to build bridges of understanding between the Bible and contemporary disciplines."Chapters are *Stories from the Heart, - *New Ways of Knowing and Being Known, - *An Islamic Perspective on the Environment, - *Christian Values, Technology, and the Environment Crisis, - *Feeding the Hungry and Protecting the Environment, - *Mental Cartography in a Time of Environmental Crisis, - *Toward an Understanding of International Geopolitics and the Environment, - *Sustainability: An Eco- Theological Analysis, - *The Stewardship of Natural and Human Resources, - *Development of Environmental Responsibility in Children, - *An Ecological View of Elders and Their Families: Needs for the Twenty-First Century, - *Symphonies of Nature: Creation and Re-creation, - *A Sense of Place, - and *Hope Amidst Crisis: A Prophetic Vision of Cosmic Redemption. -"

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All Good Books Are Catholic Books

Print Culture, Censorship, and Modernity in Twentieth-Century America

by Una M. Cadegan

Until the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, the stance of the Roman Catholic Church toward the social, cultural, economic, and political developments of the twentieth century was largely antagonistic. Naturally opposed to secularization, skeptical of capitalist markets indifferent to questions of justice, confused and appalled by new forms of high and low culture, and resistant to the social and economic freedom of women—in all of these ways the Catholic Church set itself up as a thoroughly anti-modern institution. Yet, in and through the period from World War I to Vatican II, the Church did engage with, react to, and even accommodate various aspects of modernity. In All Good Books Are Catholic Books, Una M. Cadegan shows how the Church’s official position on literary culture developed over this crucial period.

The Catholic Church in the United States maintained an Index of Prohibited Books and the National Legion of Decency (founded in 1933) lobbied Hollywood to edit or ban movies, pulp magazines, and comic books that were morally suspect. These regulations posed an obstacle for the self-understanding of Catholic American readers, writers, and scholars. But as Cadegan finds, Catholics developed a rationale by which they could both respect the laws of the Church as it sought to protect the integrity of doctrine and also engage the culture of artistic and commercial freedom in which they operated as Americans. Catholic literary figures including Flannery O’Connor and Thomas Merton are important to Cadegan’s argument, particularly as their careers and the reception of their work demonstrate shifts in the relationship between Catholicism and literary culture. Cadegan trains her attention on American critics, editors, and university professors and administrators who mediated the relationship among the Church, parishioners, and the culture at large.

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American Catholic Studies

Vol. 122 (2011) through current issue

In 1887 the American Catholic Historical Society began publication of a quarterly journal, the Records. In 1913, the Records was merged with American Catholic Historical Researches, a publication founded by Dr. A. A. Lambing of Scottsdale, Pennsylvania and issued by Martin I.J. Griffin. Since 1999, the journal, renamed American Catholic Studies has been published out of Villanova University. American Catholic Studies is the oldest, continuously published catholic scholarly journal in the United States.

American Catholic Studies is a double-blind refereed journal that publishes high quality studies and book reviews for academics, opinion leaders, and informed general readers in the fields of U.S. Roman Catholic history, sociology, theology, architecture, art, cinema, music, popular movements, and related areas.

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