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Fears and FascinationsRepresenting Catholicism in the American South$
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Thomas F. Haddox

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225217

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823225217.001.0001

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Toward Catholicism as Lifestyle: Walker Percy, John Kennedy Toole, and Rebecca Wells

Toward Catholicism as Lifestyle: Walker Percy, John Kennedy Toole, and Rebecca Wells

(p.145) 5 Toward Catholicism as Lifestyle: Walker Percy, John Kennedy Toole, and Rebecca Wells
Fears and Fascinations

Thomas F. Haddox

Fordham University Press

During the decade from 1955 to 1965, the civil rights movement emerged as a major political force in the South, and despite fierce resistance from southern whites, it began to achieve success. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 abolished de jure racial segregation and ensured black southerners' right to vote, thus sounding the death knell of what many had long identified as the “southern way of life”. Older constructions of southernness and Catholicism have not simply disappeared; they continue to circulate in forms that are increasingly unpredictable, joining with and separating from the newer constructions. Nor is it always clear that departures always mark an advance, politically or aesthetically: if recent forms of Catholicism have suggested a new emphasis on equality, they have also been easily co-opted by the forces of consumer culture that are, more than ever, neither American nor southern, but global in their reach.

Keywords:   civil rights, southern whites, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Catholicism, equality, right to vote, racial segregation, southernness

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