Item description for Greenwich Village Catholics: St. Joseph's Church and the Evolution of an Urban Faith Community, 1829-2002 by Thomas J. Shelley...
Jay Dolan transformed the writing of American Catholic history a quarter century ago by telling the story from the bottom up instead of from the top down. In recent years a number of parish histories have appeared that reflect and expand this new methodology. They successfully relate the life of a local faith community to the larger religious and secular world of which it is a part, and reciprocally illuminate that bigger world from the perspective of this local community. St. Joseph's Church in Greenwich Village offers a fruitful opportunity for this kind of history. During the life span of this parish, the Catholic community in New York City has grown from a mere thirty or forty thousand to over three million in two dioceses. St. Joseph's Church began as a poor immigrant parish in a hostile Protestant environment, developed into a prosperous working-class parish as the area became predominantly Catholic, survived a series of local economic and social upheavals, and remains today a vibrant spiritual center in the midst of an overwhelmingly secular neighborhood. Its history provides a fascinating glimpse of the evolution of Catholicism in New York City during the course of the past 175 years. The history of this parish is worth telling for its own sake as the collective journey of one faith community from immigrant mission to pillar of society and then to spiritual outpost in the Secular City. However, it has significance far beyond the boundaries of Greenwich Village because it documents at the most basic and vital level of Catholic communal organization the interaction between change and continuity that has been one of the most prominent features of urban Catholicism in the UnitedStates over the past two centuries.
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Studio: Catholic University of America Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.78" Width: 5.6" Height: 1.06" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date Jul 27, 2004
Publisher Catholic University of America Press
ISBN 0813213495 ISBN13 9780813213491
Availability 0 units.
More About Thomas J. Shelley
Shelley is Professor of Historical Theology at Fordham University.
Reviews - What do customers think about Greenwich Village Catholics: St. Joseph's Church and the Evolution of a Local Faith Community, 1829-2002?
Engaging view of Greenwich Village since 1829 Nov 20, 2003
Recently, as I rode a bus north along Sixth Avenue to Greenwich Village, I pointed to St. Joseph's Church and explained to some Australian tourists that I read a fascinating book about that church dedicated in 1834. Thomas Shelley, the author of "Greenwich Village Catholics," provides readers a well-written description of 170 years of parish and Greenwich life. We learn not only the travails and successes of the parishioners and pastors, but also much of ever-changing Manhattan demographics. New York has not completely obliterated its past. One can find reminders of our history not only in street names and historic buildings, but also in schools and churches still enriching the neighborhoods. Because of books like this, neighborhoods that earlier struck me as dull have become far more interesting. In the process, I learned more of an interest of mine: how Irish Catholics got along with neighbors, especially with Catholics from other lands. The author has given particular help with an extensive bibliography and an index. The appendix of maps includes a look at how the Sixth Avenue el came up "South Fifth Avenue" (now LaGuardia Place) and used West Third Street to reach Sixth Avenue, as before 1930 the avenue began its northward trek only at Carmine Street. I recommend this book as serious and enlightening history.