Religious Studies | American Catholicism
R338 | 20969 | Weaver
I have taught this course many different ways, always aiming toward
some kind of coherence. This spring (probably the last time I will
teach R338), I have decided to focus less on coherence and more on
books that I like and find provocative or stimulating. I am listing
the books here with full ordering information and urge you to look
on amazon.com and other places for used copies (often pretty cheap).
1. Clyde F. Crews, American and Catholic: A Popular History of
Catholicism in the United States. St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1994
2. Mary J. Oates, The Catholic Philanthropic Tradition in America.
Indiana University Press, 1995. [ISBN 0-253-34159-0]
3. Mark S. Massa, Catholics and American Culture: Fulton Sheen,
Dorothy Day, and the Notre Dame Football Team. Crossroad, 1999
4. John J. Fialka, Sisters: Catholic Nuns and the Making of
America. St. Martinís Griffin Press, 2003. [ISBN: 0-312-32596-7]
5. Donald B. Cozzens, The Changing Face of the Priesthood.
Liturgical Press, 2000. [ISBN: 0-8146-2504-5]
6. Ursula King, Spirit of Fire: The Life and Vision of Teilhard de
Chardin. Orbis Books, 1996 [ISBN: 1-57075-177-3]
Course requirements: Approximately 100 pages/week and probable
weekly reading quizzes. Attendance required. Mid-term and final
exams. Short paper. I will fill in the blanks as much as I can
during lecture, but expect students to use web sites and the library
(encyclopedias, e.g.) to look of things they do not understand.
Generally the course has these themes:
1. A brief overview of the story (Crews); an easy read.
2. Social reform (RC vs Prot) 1880-1925 (Moloney); difficult book
3. Catholicism in the 1950s (Massa); challenging.
4. A Nunsí-eye view of the American Catholic story (Fialka). Easy
5. Sexuality (Kennedy) provocative text.
6. Catholicism and science (King) just for the fun of it.