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The Catholic Studies Reader$
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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

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The (Catholic) Politics of Catholic Studies

The (Catholic) Politics of Catholic Studies

(p.92) 4. The (Catholic) Politics of Catholic Studies
The Catholic Studies Reader



Fordham University Press

Support for reflective intelligence about Catholicism has proven controversial in the Catholic Church and even in academies sponsored by the Church. Research and teaching about Catholicism requires resources, human and material, and that support has proven hard to come by. This chapter provides a short commentary on the development of Catholic Studies in the United States over the last thirty years. It focuses on the way in which debate about Catholic Studies has been an important factor in the development of American Catholic institutions and ministries, and self-understanding, since the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965). It locates the movement for Catholic Studies programs at the heart of this political tumult, with the scramble for access to potential donors, the need to secure institutional and moral support and other pre-requisites for flourishing Catholic Studies programs now implicated in the cultural and religious politics of Catholic identity and mission, a struggle waged not only on campuses but also in the Church broadly construed.

Keywords:   Catholic Studies, Catholicism, Catholic Church, politics, United States, ministries, self-understanding, donors, Catholic Studies programs

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