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Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 14, 2009

Thomas W. Jodziewicz
Pages 271-304

In the Matter of Catholic Historiography: a Proposal

Nineteen-sixty was a significant year in American Catholic history. The election of John F. Kennedy was heralded as symbolic of 'the arrival' of American Catholics in an American society which, in the past, had not always been quite so welcoming to Catholics. However, candidate Kennedy's celebrated insistence on a strict separation of one's private religious views from one's public life and service was not embraced by all observers, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. Two other circumstances in 1960, the publications of John Courtney Murray's We Hold These Truths and Thomas T. McAvoy's "American Catholics: Tradition and Controversy" in Thought, suggested other possibilities and concerns regarding the more complete involvement of American Catholics in the host culture. This involvement, then and now, speaks to the reality and the charity of inculturation, but also as a project incumbent on all believers and perhaps on historians and other scholars as well.

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