Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Protestant Encounter with Catholicism

By Rose, Anne C. | The Catholic Historical Review, January 1998 | Go to article overview

Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Protestant Encounter with Catholicism


Rose, Anne C., The Catholic Historical Review


Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Protestant Encounter with Catholicism. By Jenny Franchot. [The New Historicism: Studies in Cultural Poetics, 28.] (Berkeley: University of California Press. 1994. Pp. xxvii, 500. $55.00 cloth; $18.00 paperback.)

In America, no religious community can avoid interaction with its neighbors. In theory free and equal, these meetings have often been marked by disdain mixed with longing, stirred by the fear and excitement of approaching a religion unlike one's own. Jenny Franchot's Roads to Rome explores the unsettled and yet much-visited boundary between antebellum Protestantism and Catholicism. Although Franchot explains that she might have studied both Protestant and Catholic responses, she wrote, for the sake of focus, about the Protestant imagination only. She masterfully establishes Protestants' obsession with things Catholic. Seen through a mental lens associating Catholicism with qualities of interiority, sensuality, and femininity, Protestant writers investigated their own identities by pairing Catholic and Protestant images. Not only did they draw lines to distinguish themselves from Catholics in such fevered exposes as Maria Monk's Awful Disclosures of the Hotel Dieu Nunnery (1836), but, in a far more conflicted mood, considered what they believed to be Catholicism in complex fictions, including Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter (1850) and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Agnes of Sorrento (1862).

Franchot's impressive cataloguing and interpretation of texts help a reader such as myself, trained as a historian, to situate Roads to Rome as a kind of literary criticism interested in language as an index of culture. Historians accustomed to linear arguments about cause and effect may be perplexed by the book's structure (the first half on nervous dismissal of Catholicism, the second on anxious courtship) and exhaustive reading of tension-filled literature. Franchot does offer a subtle thesis, however, about religion, creativity, and language. It poses questions applicable to the study Franchot did not undertake: the formation of antebellum American Catholic culture through dialogue with Protestantism.

The condition of Protestants' tremulous exchanges with Catholicism was "the modern West's withdrawal from a cohesive spirituality" (p. xxvii). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Protestant Encounter with Catholicism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.