Unequal Partners

In Search of Transnational Catholic Sisterhood

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Casey Ritchie Clevenger
  • Chicago: 
    University of Chicago Press
    , May
     288 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


When we think of Catholicism, we think of Europe and the United States as the seats of its power. But while much of Catholicism remains headquartered in the West, the Church’s center of gravity has shifted to Africa, Latin America, and developing Asia. Focused on the transnational Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Unequal Partners explores the ways gender, race, economic inequality, and colonial history play out in religious organizations, revealing how their members are constantly negotiating and reworking the frameworks within which they operate.

Taking us from Belgium and the United States to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sociologist Casey Clevenger offers rare insight into how the sisters of this order work across national boundaries, shedding light on the complex relationships among individuals, social groups, and formal organizations. Throughout, Clevenger skillfully weaves the sisters’ own voices into her narrative, helping us understand how the order has remained whole over time. A thoughtful analysis of the ties that bind—and divide—the sisters, Unequal Partners is a rich look at transnationalism’s ongoing impact on Catholicism.

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

Casey Clevenger is a visiting research scholar at Brandeis University.


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