Faithful Revolution

Faithful Revolution : How Voice of the Faithful Is Changing the Church

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In January 2002, investigative reporting at the Boston Globe set off a wave of revelations regarding child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and the transferring of abusive priests from parish to parish. Public allegations against clergy reached unprecedented levels; one Bishop would later refer to the period as "our 9/11." Reeling from a growing awareness of abuse within their Church, a small group of Catholics gathered after Mass in the basement of a parish in Wellesley, Massachusetts to mourn and react. They began to mobilize around supporting victims of abuse, supporting non-abusive priests, and advocating for structural change in the Catholic Church so that abuse would no longer occur. Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) built a movement by harnessing the faith and fury of a nation of Catholics shocked by reports of abuse and institutional complicity. Some 30,000 around the United States formally joined the VOTF movement to reform the Catholic Church. Faithful Revolution offers an in-depth look at the development of Voice of the Faithful and their struggle to challenge Church leaders, advocate for internal change, and be accepted as legitimately Catholic while doing so. In a study based on three years of field observation and interviews with VOTF founders, leaders, and participants in settings throughout the U.S., Bruce shows the contested nature of a religious movement operating within a bounded institutional space. Guided by the stories of individual participants, this book brings to light the intense identity negotiations that accompany a challenge to one's own religion. Faithful Revolution offers a meaningful and accessible way to learn about Catholic identity, intra-institutional social movements, and the complexity of institutional structures.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 232 pages
  • 154.94 x 236.22 x 22.86mm | 453.59g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195385845
  • 9780195385847
  • 2,040,945

About Tricia C. Bruce

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Maryville Collegeshow more

Review quote

Faithful Revolution provides an excellent introduction to a road map for that journey. * Catholic4Change * Faithful Revolution brings to light the intense identity negotiations that accompany a challenge to one's own religion and offers a meaningful way to learn about Catholic identity, intrainstitutional social movements, and the complexity of institutional structures. * ASA Sociology of Religion Section Newsletter * Drawing on participant observations, interviews, and discourse analysis, the book's theoretical contributions (related to social movement studies) never outweigh its attentiveness to the voices of the people. With the help of Bruce's insightful explanation of the structural dilemmas of existence in the 'church that can and cannot change,' future studies can deepen our understanding of the sensory, emotional, familial, and relational fabric of life as a VOTF Catholic. This book is an excellent choice for upper-level Catholic Studies course and for graduate seminars on social movements and/or post-Vatican II Catholicism. * American Catholic Studies * What Bruce does especially well, and is evidenced throughout her book, is tease out the analytical nuances derived from her deft framing of VOTF as an 'intrainstitutional social movement.' this fine book provides an excellent model for the very sort of scholarship required to tell that currently unfolding story with rigor and verve. * Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion * Tricia Colleen Bruce's new book could not come at a better time. Faithful Revolution makes a significant contribution to the study of social movements. * Mobilization *show more

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION; CONCLUSION; APPENDIX: METHODOLOGY; NOTES; WORKS CITEDshow more

Review Text

Tricia Colleen Bruce's new book could not come at a better time. Faithful Revolution makes a significant contribution to the study of social movements. Mobilizationshow more

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