Item description for HolyLand USA: A Catholic Ride Through America's Evangelical Landscape by Peter Feuerherd...
Overview This book gives a general as well as personal perspective of evangelical America from a Catholic viewpoint.
Publishers Description Catholic Press Award Winner. Why, transforming centuries of bitter divisions, are Catholics becoming more evangelical and evangelicals more Catholic? Peter Feuerherd explores how America's two largest religious groups are changing our cultural and religious landscape.
Citations And Professional Reviews HolyLand USA: A Catholic Ride Through America's Evangelical Landscape by Peter Feuerherd has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 10/01/2006 page 77
Publishers Weekly - 08/14/2006 page 202
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Studio: The Crossroad Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.25" Width: 5.25" Height: 0.35" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2006
Publisher NATIONAL BOOK NETWORK
ISBN 0824522974 ISBN13 9780824522971
Reviews - What do customers think about HolyLand USA: A Catholic Ride Through America's Evangelical Landscape?
Thought-provoking, personal, insightful Dec 22, 2006
I read this book in two sittings only because I had to go to work in the middle! The language is fresh and alive, the discussion personal yet insightful, and on the whole, I thought the book well balanced. I, too, am a "cradle Catholic," but I was brought up by a Charismatic Catholic mother (a movement in the Church that owes much to Evangelicals). I found it fascinating to learn how much the two "strands" have in common (I believe we're all sisters and brothers, so I struggled to find a word there).
Feuerherd is a journalist, and this is a journalist's book--written in a conversational style, but introducing difficult concepts and subjects. There's no "resolution," but I believe that's the point. It's a ride--a sightseeing trip--but taking time to talk to people and really caring about their answers. This isn't written from the view "Catholics are right, the Evangelicals are wrong" but from the view of "What can we share? What can we learn from one another?" To me, that's the spirit of Christian brothers and sisters working together.
I've loaned this to two friends so far, and suggested my mother buy it. One friend praised the "beautiful use of language," and the "spot-on observations". The other, an evangelical Anglican priest, is reading as quickly as he can. Mom's awaiting her copy.
I do recommend this for folks with a passing knowledge of the different flavors of Christianity, as I think some background will help, but that's only my view. I wanted to use parts of this in my American Culture Studies classes here in Sweden, but realized it may be too "specialist" for Swedish first year university students. Instead I just pulled out some quotes.
I recommend this book highly.
Knee jerk reaction Dec 20, 2006
Except in the next-to-last chapter where he obtains a surprising bout of objectivity, the vast majority of this book is a knee-jerk reaction to the supposed contention that all evangelicals consider all Catholics unsaved. Such strident pronouncements plague this book to the degree that it is far less than a Catholic look at evangelicalism than a paranoid recapitulation of all the so-called manifold ways on which evangelicals supposedly and smugly look down on down on Catholics in particular (i.e., the Pope is Antichrist, Catholics sell indulgences, etc.). What is most alarming is that the back cover boasts that this book is the recipient of five Catholic press awards. It's scary to think that such publications seem to believe that Feuerherd somehow got it right.
Explores how Catholics and Evangelicals relate to each other Oct 8, 2006
Peter Feuerherd, a winner of five Catholic Press Awards and editor of "American Catholic," delves into the relationships between Evangelicals and Catholics in "Holy Land USA." The title comes from a Holy Land theme park that exists in Orlando, FL. Feuerherd both begins and ends this book with his traveling through this theme park on two separate occasions. In the year that transpires between these two visits he seeks to discover what is going on between Evangelicals and Catholics in America. After centuries of discord the two are coming together, finding common ground in moral issues and learning and borrowing from each other's liturgical practices.
Part journalistic exposition and part spiritual memoir, "Holy Land USA" balances religious history with profiles of people of faith on both sides of the liturgical divide. For Feuerherd, this quest is personal. After being raised Catholic, his daughter stated that she "never felt at home in the Catholic church" and has since found spiritual solace in an Evangelical Church in New Jersey. While questioning whether on some level he has failed as a parent, as a true blue-stater, he respects her right to explore the "religious marketplace." He also has respect for Evangelicals, for both the strength of their faith and their fervor in spreading their faith. At the same time, Feuerherd is firmly ensconced in the Catholic Faith. He worked for the Catholic press for many years. While he admits he at times became jaded because of things going on behind the scenes, he has stayed firmly rooted in the faith he was raised in. For this work, he interviewed people who have crossed both from Evangelical to Catholic ranks and vice versa as well as some who straddle the fence. Their spiritual histories bring a human touch to what could otherwise be a very abstract study.
"Holy Land USA" is interesting for the stereotypes that it seeks to break down. For example, the media describes all Evangelicals as being aligned with the Republican party and pushing for social conservatism in the public square. The reality is far more complex with Evangelicals holding political views across the spectrum. Surprisingly enough, in all the Evangelical religious services he attended as research for this book, not once did any preacher weigh in on the political issues of the day. They focused instead on social concerns and a practical spirituality of living better in one's family and workplace.
Feuerherd also explores how Catholics have been influenced by Evangelicals, in particular in the Charismatic movement and in a renewed interest in Scripture studies and fellowship. He suggests that Catholics could learn much from how Evangelicals minister to teens and young adults. Meanwhile Evangelicals admire how Catholics reach young children and in some cases have begun to show greater appreciation for the common Christian history that both share.
"Holy Land USA" does not have a clear premise. It seeks to merely explore the issues and provide a snapshot of Evangelical-Catholic relations at this point in history. In that respect, Feuerherd achieved his goal. It reads quickly and provides valuable insight into what may prove to be an increasingly influential relationship.