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The Catholic Revolution
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Table of Contents

List of Tables Introduction Part I. Old Wineskins 1. A Catholic Revolution 2. The "Confident" Church 3. The Wineskins Burst 4. What Happened? 5. "Effervescence" Spreads from the Council to the World 6. How Do They Stay? 7. New Rules, New Prophets, and Beige Catholicism 8. Only in America? 9. Why They Stay 10. Priests Part II. The Search for New Wineskins 11. Recovering the Catholic Heritage 12. Religious Education and Beauty 13. Authority as Charm 14. Liturgists and the Laity Conclusion Notes References Index

About the Author

Andrew Greeley is a research associate at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and teaches sociology at the University of Arizona. He is the author of many scholarly books, including The Catholic Imagination (California, 2000), Religion as Poetry (1995), and Catholic Myth: The Behavior and Beliefs of American Catholics (1994), as well as more than thirty novels.

Reviews

Greeley may be better known as a novelist than a sociologist, but in this latest book he is in full professional stride, offering studied observations on his Church in the years since the landmark Second Vatican Council (1962-65). As the title suggests, Greeley proposes that a revolution has occurred since the heady days of Vatican II. In fact, he likens the actions that made change possible to the storming of the Bastille. Vatican II's reforms were modest, Greeley believes, yet were "too much for the rigid structures of 19th-century Catholicism to absorb." In short, he says, the new wine burst the old wineskins. He attributes this to the Church's failure to adjust its rhetoric and style to educated contemporary Catholics who no longer blindly obey the directives of Church authorities. Thus, he writes, Church leadership is now in conflict with lower clergy and laity, who have redefined Catholicism on their own terms, holding onto core doctrines and traditions even as they disagree with the rules in such areas as sexual behavior. Greeley does not necessarily endorse these unofficial reforms, but he does applaud the laity for their faith and calls on Church leaders to recognize and respect them. He has especially harsh words for authoritarian liturgists who have imposed their vision of worship on congregations starving for a real connection between faith and daily life. Catholics who want to know what happened after Vatican II will find this compelling reading. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"A delightful read. Greeley's prose, sprinkled with Irish wit, is enchanting." - Roanoke Times "Greeley may be better known as a novelist than a sociologist, but in this latest book he is in full professional stride, offering studied observations on his Church in the years since the landmark Second Vatican Council.... Catholics who want to know what happened after Vatican II will find this compelling reading." - Publishers Weekly"

A prolific novelist and author of scholarly books (e.g., The Catholic Imagination), while also a research associate at the National Opinion Research Center (Univ. of Chicago), Greeley here takes an in-depth look at current Catholicism from a sociological perspective. He uses empirical data to articulate the successes and failures of the worldwide reforms ignited at Vatican II and cites several recent research studies that credibly and meaningfully report the critical situation of American Catholic life. The "old wineskins" of 19th-century absolutism are thus contrasted with the new wine of 20th-century liberation. Using terms like metaphor, charm, and beauty, Greeley demonstrates why contemporary men and women continue to express their faith in Catholic tradition. Thoughtful, respectful, and challenging, this extended essay is fully documented, grounded in sound scholarship, and skillfully written to be of interest both to scholars and to those active in the Catholic Church community. Recommended for all libraries.-John-Leonard Berg, Univ. of Wisconsin Lib., Platteville Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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