To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The Catholic Church has been the largest single religious denomination in the United States since the mid-nineteenth century, consistently claiming between 20 and 25 percent of the nation’s population over the past 170 years. Arriving in the Americas with the earliest Spanish and French missionaries, following pathways of settlement and expansion to all corners of the United States, and bolstered by successive waves of immigration, both in the past and today, Catholicism has been a constitutive element of American history from the very beginning. It has shaped the development of the nation in myriad ways, from formal political engagement and social activism to subtle cultural influence and anonymous works of charity. It is also one of the nation’s most internally diverse religious denominations, drawing together members from all races and ethnicities, socioeconomic classes, ideological perspectives, and political persuasions. American Catholics espouse a wide range of beliefs, customs, and practices that reflects the church’s cultural richness, but that has also given rise to numerous clashes and outright conflict. They continue to maintain a strong sense of collective unity, yet also exhibit much of the same polarization found within wider society. It is a church that today is at once growing and contracting, vibrant yet visibly scarred by scandal. For all these reasons, American Catholicism captivates and confounds, and it deserves scholarly attention.
This Companion provides a comprehensive overview of American Catholicism's historical development and distinctive features. The essays - all specially commissioned for this volume - highlight the inner diversity of American Catholicism and trace the impact of American Catholics on all aspects of society, including education, social welfare, politics, and intellectual life. The volume also addresses topics of contemporary concern, such as gender and sexuality, arts and culture, social activism, and the experiences of Black, Latinx, Asian-American, and cultural Catholics. Taken together, the essays in this Companion provide context for understanding American Catholicism as it is currently experienced, and help to situate present-day developments and debates within their longer trajectory.
The United States has never had an established religion, but, by the early twentieth century, many Episcopalians had come to think of themselves as the nation's religious establishment. No other denomination, they believed, was as well-suited to provide moral leadership for the nation and unite its people in faith. This article argues that their commitment to a national civic mission provided Episcopalians with a sense of collective purpose that diverted attention from internal divisions and helped propel the church to a position of prominence within American religious life. It also reveals how many of the prime proponents and beneficiaries of the church's ascendancy were members of the social and financial elite. Committed to a patrician creed of social responsibility, these “representatives of all that is noble” gained status and moral authority through their public support of the church and its mission. To trace the contours of the Episcopal ascendancy, this article focuses on developments within the Diocese of Pennsylvania, one of the largest, wealthiest, and most influential within the church. Over the course of the early twentieth century, its members overcame their prevailing parochialism, strengthened their denominational identity, and brought their influence to bear on the nation's religious life. Their exercise of religious and cultural authority can be seen in their support of three ecclesiastical projects—the proposed diocesan cathedral, historic Christ Church, and the Washington Memorial Chapel at Valley Forge— that helped fashion the public image of the Episcopal Church as the nation's religious establishment.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.