Within the Market Strife

Within the Market Strife : American Catholic Economic Thought from Rerum Novarum to Vatican II

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In a period often viewed by historians as one in which Catholics labored in an intellectual ghetto, shut off from mainstream American thought and culture, a number of Catholic intellectuals were thinking seriously about the relationship between Catholicism and its American context. Within the Market Strife examines these views on economic questions in the period 1891-1962, from populism and progressivism to the New Deal and post-World War II conservatism. The book uniquely contributes to the historical understanding of Catholicism - and of American intellectual history more generally - by examining the ways in which Catholic views variously mirrored and interacted with broader American (non-Catholic) views. Within the Market Strife combines Catholic and general American historiographies to discern the ways in which American Catholic economic thought was dependent on factors other than their adherence to the authoritative social teaching of their church, unique political loyalties, personal experience, and economic theories. This book is an essay in intellectual history that will prove itself invaluable to scholars interested in Catholic history, economic history, American religious history, and American intellectual history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 184 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.1 x 20.3mm | 294.84g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0739108808
  • 9780739108802

Table of contents

1 Introduction 2 Chapter 1: Early American Catholic Social Thought 3 Chapter 2: Catholics in the Age of Reform 4 Chapter 3: Catholic Economic Thought in the Twenties: A Survival of American Innocence? 5 Chapter 4: Catholics and the New Deal 6 Chapter 5: War, Anti-Communism, and the Rise of Conservatism 7 Chapter 6: Catholics and Capitalism in the Fifties 8 Conclusion
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Review quote

Kevin Schmiesing has produced an excellent exposition of American Catholic economic thought. Catholic thinkers demonstrated the moral foundations of private property and an understanding of the market process. -- Leonard P. Liggio, George Mason University School of Law; Executive Vice President, Atlas Economic Research Foundation This book stands as the best single overview of American Catholic economic thought, a thorough and sophisticated account of a subject which is routinely misunderstood. -- James Hitchcock, St. Louis University Within the Market Strife is a thoroughly researched, insightful examination of American Catholic thinking on economics in the years before Vatican II. Kevin Schmiesing ably demonstrates that the first half of the twentieth century was an intellectually vibrant time for Catholic thought. Schmiesing brings this spirited and diverse group of thinkers to life in this excellent study. -- John F. Quinn, Associate Professor of History, Salve Regina University Carefully argued, and based on extensive research, this book demonstrates convincingly that American Catholic economic thinkers, while sharing the same faith, expressed a notable diversity of views. Schmiesing has made a significant contribution to our knowledge of American Catholicism during a critical period. -- Keith Cassidy, University of Guelph A thorough, well organized, and adeptly written intellectual history of Catholic social thought on economic policy and systems during the first half of the twentieth century...Within the Market Strife is a scholarly achievement that adds greatly to American Catholic scholarship of the twentieth century. Professionals and interested readers of Catholic intellectual history will find this volume a welcome addition to their bookshelves. * The Catholic Historical Review * Schmiesing presents a refreshing examination of American Catholic social though, focusing in new ways upon the history of divergent Catholic economic theories and reform programs that reflected on-going dialogues with diverse American approaches to the economy. He brings into the story line new voices as well as those that are more widely recognized. This well written study should be of great interest not only to historians of American religious life and thought, but also to social theorists, academic economist, especially those in Catholic higher education, and those Christian involved in businesses and industry. -- Patrick Carey, Marquette University
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About Kevin Schmiesing

Kevin E. Schmiesing is Research Fellow in History at the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
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