Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

American and Catholic: A Popular History of Catholicism in the United States

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

American and Catholic: A Popular History of Catholicism in the United States

Article excerpt

CREwS, CLYDE E American and Catholic: A Popular History of Catholicism in the United States. (Cincinnati: St. Anthony Messenger Press. 1994. Pp. viii, 167. $11.95 paperback.)

Crews's history of American Catholicism focuses upon the interaction of Catholic and American values. Catholics endowed American life with values (e.g., tradition, sacramentality, community, institutional order, authority) that the American republican and Protestant culture had either neglected, forgotten, or denied. On the other hand, Catholics encountered American republican and Protestant values (liberty, participation, toleration, due process, and pluralism) that Catholics had neglected and that were eventually incorporated into American Catholic life.

Crews's narrative carries the reader from the missionary and colonial period to the present, reflecting throughout a sensitivity for the complexity of the historical record, the multiple styles of Catholic life, the diversity of thought, the creedal unity, and the experiences of isolation and integration. Although the story line reflects the traditional outline of American Catholic history, the story itself depicts the experiences of everyday Catholic life, or Catholic art and architecture, of the influences of geography and climate, and of the popular images of Catholicism in the American press and literature. …

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