American Catholic History, Second Edition

A Documentary Reader

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Mark Massa, Catherine Osborne
  • New York, NY: 
    NYU Press
    , November
     368 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Emily Suzanne Clark forthcoming.


An overview in primary documents of almost four hundred years of the American Catholic experience. 

Among the first European explorers of the Americas, Catholics have a long and rich history in the United States. In this collection of significant letters, diaries, theological reflections, and other primary documents, the voices of Catholics in this country reveal what they have thought, believed, feared, and dreamed. 

American Catholic History spans the earliest missionary voyages in the sixteenth century, to the present day, illuminating the complex history, beliefs, and practices of what has become North American Roman Catholicism. In an engaging and accessible style, the brief introductions to each text provide historical and biographical context and illuminate broad themes in the development of the American Catholic tradition. From Catholicism’s encounters with new frontiers to its long-time position outside mainstream culture, and from its intellectual life and political engagement to patterns of worship and spirituality, this book offers a lively first-hand review of Catholicism’s multifaceted history in the United States.  

This expanded edition includes 34 new documents, and offers more robust coverage of the diverse communities of Catholics in this country.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Mark Massa is professor of church history and director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. He is the author of The American Catholic Revolution: How the Sixties Changed the Church Forever and Catholics and American Culture: Fulton Sheen, Dorothy Day, and the Notre Dame Football Team.

Catherine Osborne is visiting assistant professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University, and author of American Catholics and the Church of Tomorrow, 1925-1975.

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