Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Diversity and the Common Good: Civil Society, Religion, and Catholic Sisters in a Small City

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Diversity and the Common Good: Civil Society, Religion, and Catholic Sisters in a Small City

Article excerpt

BRIEF NOTICE

Karraker, Meg Wilkes. Diversity and the Common Good: Civil Society, Religion, and Catholic Sisters in a Small City. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 2013. Pp. x, 165. $60.00. ISBN 978-0-7391-8152-2.)

In the introduction to this book (p. 17), the author states that its purpose is to explore how a small city can create civil society, and the role that religion (specifically, the role that Catholic sisters) might play in this. However, she does not really get around to addressing this question until page 120-a mere nine pages before the end. It is there that she mentions the key role of "small communities of critical thinkers in developing new ideas and inspiring their dissemination"; it is there that she lists requirements for effective community building and notes the role that social networks play in expanding social capital. What is missing in the previous 119 pages, however, are specific descriptions of how the various communities of sisters have enacted these roles. For example, the activities of SET (Sisters Engaging Together) could have been better described (beyond a mention that it erected a billboard urging the community to welcome immigrants). When and how did this group interface with the rest of the community? …

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