Synopses & Reviews
Two centuries of struggles and sympathies between one religion and democracy in America.
For two centuries, Catholicism has played a profound and largely unexamined role in America's political and intellectual life. Emphasizing the community over the individual, Catholics have alternately challenged and supported American liberals on a variety of controversial issues, including slavery, public education, economic reform, the movies, contraception, the nuclear arms race, and abortion.
The story of Catholicism is also international, as Catholics and non-Catholics reacted to people, ideas, and events abroad, from the 1848 revolutions to the rise of European fascism in the 1930s and the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. Putting the current sexual-abuse scandal in the Church and the media's response in a much larger context, this stimulating history of both Catholicism and anti-Catholicism is a model of nuanced scholarship and provocative reading. 21 b/w illustrations.
"McGreevy's work is largely academic, and is presented in such a way that it will be of more interest to scholarly readers than ordinary Catholics. Still, it should be a valuable resource for students of modern church history." Publishers Weekly
"No apologist, McGreevy offers a balanced approach that proves informative and challenging for Catholic and non-Catholic alike." Kirkus Reviews
"McGreevy selects a rich panoply of rigorous public debates about nonsectarian education in the common school, slavery, American nationalism, social welfare, democracy, birth control and abortion." The Chicago Tribune
Catholicism and American Freedom is a tale of strange bedfellows and bitter conflicts over issues such as slavery, public education, economic reform, the movies, contraception, and abortion. It is an international story, as both liberals and conservatives were influenced by ideas and events abroad, from the 1848 revolutions to the rise of Fascism and the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, to papal encyclicals and the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s; and by the people, from scholarly Jesuits to working class Catholics, who immigrated from Europe and Latin America.
About the Author
John T. McGreevy is the John A. O'Brien Associate Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He lives in South Bend, Indiana. His previous book, Parish Boundaries, won the John Gilmary Shea Prize of the American Catholic Historical Association.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Eliot School Rebellion, Boston, 1859 7
Ch. 1 Education and the Nineteenth-Century Catholic Revival 19
Ch. 2 Catholicism, Slavery, and the Cause of Liberty 43
Ch. 3 Catholic Freedom and Civil War 68
Ch. 4 The Nation 91
Ch. 5 The Social Question 127
Ch. 6 American Freedom and Catholic Power 166
Ch. 7 Democracy, Religious Freedom, and the Nouvelle Theologie 189
Ch. 8 Life (I) 216
Ch. 9 Life (II) 250
Ch. 10 A Consistent Ethic and Sexual Abuse 282
Photo Credits 407