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The Second Spring

  • Michael Novak


Assessing the position of the Catholic in the United States, a great Catholic assertion is predicted for the final years of this century, a “second spring.” Impediments to this are listed and differences of Catholic and Protestant style are noted. Suggestions are made for bringing the Catholic elite and Catholic people back together again.



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page 29 note 1 Novak, Michael, A New Generation: American and Catholic (New York: Herder and Herder, 1964), pp. 9 and 11.

page 29 note 2 See Abramson, Harold, Ethnic Diversity in Catholic America (New York: Wiley, 1973), pp. 1819.

page 30 note 3 Cf. Levy, Mark R. and Kramer, Michael S., The Ethnic; Foctor (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973); also Greeley, Andrew, Ethnicity in the United States: A Preliminary Reconnaissance (New York: Wiley, 1975), pp. 121155. On related issues, see Hamilton, Richard, Restraining Myths (New York: Wiley, 1975), esp. pp. 147218.

page 31 note 4 Lenski, Gerhard, The Religious Factor (Garden Gity, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961, 1963).

page 31 note 5 Hanna, Mary, “Religion and Politics: The Influence of Catholicism on American Politics in the Past Decade” (Ph.D. dissertation, 1975, Cornell University).

page 31 note 6 Moynihan, Daniel Patrick, “Bosses and Reformers,” in Coping (New York: Random House Vintage Books, 1975), pp. 5368.

page 31 note 7 Viereck, Peter, Shame and Glory of the Intellectuals (Boston: Beacon, 1953), p. 45.

page 31 note 8 A stream of studies, bulletins, and reports on these matters has been generated by Andrew Greeley and his associates at the National Opinion Research Center, the University of Chicago. Those issued before 1975 are cited in Ethnicity. Cf. also Greeley's, The American Catholic: A Social Portrait (New York: Basic Books, 1977).

page 33 note 9 For a critical view, see Hitchcock, James, The Decline and Fall of Radical Catholicism (New York: Herder and Herder, 1971). For a partisan account, see Wills, Garry, Bare Ruined Choirs (New York: Doubleday, 1971). For a sympathetic historical overview, see O'Brien, David, The Renewal of American Catholicism (New York: Oxford, 1971), Two benchmarks for measuring the later mood are Callahan's, DanielThe Mind of the Catholic Layman (New York: Scribner's, 1963), and Honesty in the Church (New York: Scribner's, 1965).

page 34 note 10 See Niebuhr, Reinhold, Man's Nature and His Communities (New York: Scribner's, 1965). This book is an account of how Niebuhr fared “in adjusting the original Protestant heritage of individualism and perfectionism.” and how he changed “from a purely Protestant viewpoint to an increasing sympathy for the two other great traditions ot Western culture. Jewish and Catholic” (pp. 15-16).

page 35 note 11 I am indebted to Marty, Martin, Righteous Empire: The Protestant Experience in America (New York: Dial, 1970), forthe citations in this paragraph. See his pp. 16, 88. and 234-35. Marty's discussion of the American Protestant character, in its varieties, is a classic.

page 35 note 12 Niebuhr, Reinhold, The Irony of American History (New York: Scribner's, 1952), pp. 115–16, See also his The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness (New York: Scribner's, 1944), p. 11.

page 36 note 13 For my own discussion of five versions of the Protestant civil religions in America, see Choosing Our King (New York: Macmillan, 1973), pp. 103–59. See Marty's and Ahlstrom's essays in this volume.

page 37 note 14 Niebuhr, Reinhold, Moral Man and Immoral Society (New York: Scribner's, 1932, 1960), p. ix.

page 38 note 15 See, e.g., Riordon, William L., Plunkitt of Tammany Hull (New York: McClure, 1905).

page 39 note 16 For a larger discussion of moralism, see Novak, , Choosing our King, pp. 57102.

page 40 note 17 Novak, Michael, A Theology for Radical Politics (New York: Herder and Herder, 1969).

page 41 note 18 See my Needing Niebuhr Again,” Commentary 54 (September 1972), pp. 5262.

page 42 note 19 Cf. Hanna, “Religion and Politics: The Influence of Catholicism on American Politics.”

page 43 note 20 See my essay on the Berrigans in Raines, John (ed.), Conspiracy (New York: Harper & Row, 1975). See also Gray, Francine du Plessix, Divine Disobedience (New York: Knopf, 1970) and O'Rourke, William, The Harrisburg 7 and the New Catholic Left (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1972), for sympathetic but revealing accounts.

page 44 note 21 See Andrew Greeley, Report to the Ford Foundation, 1975.

page 45 note 22 See Hamilton, Restraining Myths; also Greeley, Ethnicity, and American Catholics: A Social Portrait.

page 45 note 23 Cf. Greeley, Ethnicity.

page 46 note 24 Baltzell, E. Digby, The Protestant Establishment (New York: Random House Vintage Books, 1966).

page 47 note 25 See my The Family out of Favor,” Harper's Magazine (April, 1976), pp. 3746.

page 47 note 26 Two study groups that gather and disseminate useful information on neighborhoods are the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs, Washington, DC, and the Institute on Pluralism and Group Identity, the American Jewish Committee, New York, NY.

page 48 note 27 Cf. Kristol, Irving, On the Democratic Idea in America (New York: Harper Torch-books, 1973), p. 136.

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