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Communion of Immigrants: A History of Catholics in America (Religion in American Life) [Paperback]

by James T. Fisher
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)


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Communion of Immigrants: A History of Catholics in America (Religion in American Life) Communion of Immigrants: A History of Catholics in America (Religion in American Life) 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

June 6, 2002 0195154967 978-0195154962 0
Catholicism has grown from a suppressed and persecuted outsiders' religion in the American colonies to become the nation's single largest denomination. James Fisher surveys more than four centuries of Catholics' involvement in American history, starting his narrative with one of the first Spanish expeditions to Florida, in 1528. He follows the transformation of Catholicism into one of America's most culturally and ethnically diverse religions, including the English Catholics' early settlement in Maryland, the Spanish missions to the Native Americans, the Irish and German poor who came in search of work and farmland, the proliferation of Polish and Italian communities, and the growing influx of Catholics from Latin America. The book discusses Catholic involvement in politics and conflict, from New York's Tammany Hall to the Vietnam War and abortion. Fisher highlights the critical role of women in American Catholicism--from St. Elizabeth Seton and Dorothy Day to Mother Cabrini, the first American citizen to be canonized a saint--and describes the influence of prominent American Catholics such as Cardinal John J. O'Connor, 1930s radio personality Father Charles Coughlin, President John F. Kennedy, pacifists Daniel and Philip Berrigan, activist Cesar Chavez, and author Flannery O'Connor.

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"An outstandingly accessible and up-to-date brief history of American Catholicism...ideally suited for classroom use, study groups, or the general reader." -- American Catholic Studies


"The chapters cover very salient events and historical figures, giving students enough of a sense of 'who' and 'what' to question and analyze related primary sources." -- Professor Cecilia Moore, University of Dayton


About the Author


James T. Fisher is the Danforth Chair in Humanities and Professor in Theological Studies and History at Saint Louis University. His previous books include The Catholic Counterculture in America, 1933-1962 and Dr. America: The Lives of Thomas A. Dooley, 1927-1961.

Product Details

  • Series: Religion in American Life
  • Paperback: 179 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (June 6, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195154967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195154962
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,837,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
My interest in reading this book was to get a better understanding of the Roman Catholic ethos in America. Fisher does a decent job of giving the broad outline of Catholic beginnings in the United States. He alternates throughout the first three chapters by giving equal time to the early French, Spanish, and Irish experience. He then shifts to focus on the more established immigrant church and the then seemingly tension of being Catholic and American. Fisher then moves into contemporary times and highlights the lives of several Catholic social players including Dorothy Day, Ceasar Chavez, and several other various social reform movements.

The book was decent insofar that is a brief survey of the experience and social conscience of some segments of Catholicism in America. I think Fisher's historical brush could have been more inclusive to the conservative elements of Catholic social life.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
James T. Fisher is professor of history and theological studies at Saint Louis University; he has also written books such as Catholics in America, On the Irish Waterfront: The Crusader, the Movie, and the Soul of the Port of New York, Catholic Counterculture in America, 1933-62, etc.

He wrote in the Preface to this 2002 book, "The Catholic church grew enormously as a result of the mass immigration of European peoples to America between the 1840s and early 1920s... America is a nation of immigrants and the story of Catholics in America is largely the story of an immigrant church. The influx of an extraordinarily diverse population of newcomers since the 1960s has reinvigorated the church. The devotion of these immigrants and their families has shown once again that the Catholic experience is an integral force in the life of the nation."

He notes, "Puritans were zealous Protestants determined to eliminate all remnants of 'popery' or Catholic practice, in England as well as in her colonies... In 1654... Puritan zealots repealed the Act of Religious Toleration and ushered in an era of intolerance toward Catholics that would persist until the American Revolution." (Pg. 18) He adds, "In the early years of the nation, the great majority of American Catholics, like most of their fellow citizens, were more concerned with pursuing opportunities for themselves and their families than with issues of church governance.." (Pg.
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