Empowering the People of God

Empowering the People of God : Catholic Action Before and After Vatican II


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The early 1960s were a heady time for Catholic laypeople. Pope Pius XII's assurance "You do not belong to the Church. You are the Church" emboldened the laity to challenge Church authority in ways previously considered unthinkable. Empowering the People of God offers a fresh look at the Catholic laity and its relationship with the hierarchy in the period immediately preceding the Second Vatican Council and in the turbulent era that followed. This collection of essays explores a diverse assortment of manifestations of Catholic action, ranging from genteel reform to radical activism, and an equally wide variety of locales, apostolates, and movements.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 408 pages
  • 158 x 230 x 34mm | 619.99g
  • Fordham University Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • black & white halftones
  • 0823254003
  • 9780823254002
  • 1,539,047

Review quote

"Empowering the People of God gives a nuanced, complicated, insightful portrait of Catholic Action as a spectrum rather than a monolith. The volume is timely, not just for historians of American Catholicism, but also for those seeing to understand the deeper backstory to the contesting definitions of authority in the Church in the present moment."-Amy L. Koehlinger, Florida State University

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About Jeremy Bonner

Jeremy Bonner is an independent scholar in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mary Beth Fraser Connolly is the Assistant Director of the Lilly Fellows Program and Assistant Adjunct in History at Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana. Her research interests include the history of American women and religion, with a particular interest in American Catholic women religious. Christopher D. Denny is an associate professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at St. John's University in New York City.

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Table of contents

Contents Acknowledgements List of Contributors Introduction: Jeffrey Burns Part One: Catholic Action 1. Catholic Action in the Archdiocese of New York: The Case of the Catholic Club of New York City (Patrick J. Hayes) 2. The Liturgical Movement and Catholic Action: Women Living the Liturgical Life in the Lay Apostolate (Katharine E. Harmon) 3. "The Priesthood of the Layman": Catholic Action in the Archdiocese of San Francisco (William Issel) 4. From Participation to Community: John Courtney Murray's American Justification for Catholic Action (Christopher Denny) 5. Azzione Cattolica in an American Setting: The Society of Saint Charles-Scalabrinians and Catholic Action (Mary Elizabeth Brown) Part Two: The People of God 6. Relevant Transformations: The Young Women of the Extension Lay Volunteers, 1961-1971 (Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello) 7. Reaching Out to the People of God: The Implications of Renewal for the Sisters of Mercy in Parish Schools (Mary Beth Fraser Connolly) 8. "This is Our Challenge! We will Pursue It": The National Council of Catholic Women, the Feminist Movement, and the Second Vatican Council, 1960-1975 (Mary Henold) 9. Who Will Guard the Guardians? Church Government and the Ecclesiology of the People of God, 1965-1969 (Jeremy Bonner) 10. Empowering the People of God: John Cardinal Dearden's Church of Tomorrow (Samuel J. Thomas) 11. Christian Unity, Lay Authority, and the People of God: The Community of Christ Our Brother in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, 1967-1969 (Andrew Moore)

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