Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Catholic Studies Reader$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James T. Fisher and Margaret M. McGuinness

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234103

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234103.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

“The Story Is What Saves Us”

“The Story Is What Saves Us”

American Catholic Memoirs

(p.19) 1 “The Story Is What Saves Us”
The Catholic Studies Reader



Fordham University Press

Autobiographical works such as Augustine's Confessions are the very foundation of Catholic Studies. Our understanding of the evolution of Catholic life in North America is deeply grounded in life-writings, personal narratives presented in a variety of genres and formats, from travel narratives and traditional memoirs to autobiographical fiction and specialized hybrids. One of the primary functions served by life-writings in Catholic Studies is to remind readers from all denominations, vocations, and walks of life that the Catholic Church is a community composed of individuals whose identities are deeply informed by a common faith and sharply varying experiences of Catholic lived religion. This chapter locates the tradition of American Catholic “life-writing” at the heart of Catholic Studies practice. From the earliest accounts of European explorers to dramatic nineteenth- and twentieth-century conversion narratives by notable Protestants to contemporary chronicles of faith lost or reclaimed, the stories told by American Catholics chart the experience of a community so diverse its shared traditions are both inscribed and invented in these autobiographical narratives.

Keywords:   Catholic Studies, life-writings, personal narratives, Catholic Church, explorers, conversion, Protestants, faith, American Catholics, autobiographical narratives

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .