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American Catholics Today: New Realities of Their Faith and Their Church [Hardcover]

By William V. D'Antonio (Author)
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Item description for American Catholics Today: New Realities of Their Faith and Their Church by William V. D'Antonio...

The Catholic Church has had a tumultuous recent history, in the wake of the election of a new pope and sex abuse scandals, and the views of Catholic lay people have not stood untouched. What are the effects of these events upon Catholics' beliefs? How do beliefs of older and younger generations of Catholics differ? Using key Gallup surveys from 1987 to 2005, this book reveals a rift between Catholics born before and after Vatican II and suggests that the future will find more Catholics making decisions about their own faith and fewer who are fervently committed to church life. This discussion is vital to anyone concerned with American Catholicism and its future.

Citations And Professional Reviews
American Catholics Today: New Realities of Their Faith and Their Church by William V. D'Antonio has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Commonweal - 11/23/2007 page 26
  • Library Journal - 04/15/2007 page 96

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Pages   214
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.09" Width: 6.33" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   1.03 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 26, 2007
Publisher   Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
ISBN  0742552144  
ISBN13  9780742552142  

Availability  137 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2016 01:18.
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More About William V. D'Antonio

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! William V. D'Antonio is Fellow of the Life Cycle Institute, Catholic University of America. James D. Davidson is professor of sociology at Purdue University. Dean R. Hoge is Fellow of the Life Cycle Institute, Catholic University of America. Mary Gautier is senior research associate and research associate professor at CARA, Georgetown University.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > Roman Catholicism
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about American Catholics Today: New Realities of Their Faith and Their Church?

Statistics Give a Picture  Sep 14, 2007
D'Ambrosio, et. al., have continued past studies, at six year intervals, of Catholics in the United States. Their chapters are clear, the graphs easy to follow, and the conclusions pretty much extend observations from previous studies. They make a subtle distinction between identity as Catholics and involvement in church, with the latter being a safer predictor of behavior. The studies show Catholics have high agreement on core faith issues (divinity of Jesus, Trinity, Eucharist, etc.), but very scattered agreement/disagreement on the "gender-sexuality" sensitive issues of today. Because book poses questions in pretty much the same format as before, it has limitations. But given the starting point, it's worth looking at.
Understanding the American Catholic Landscape and Trends  Jul 28, 2007
"American Catholics Today" is the fourth study (1987, 1993, & 1999) of the American Catholic Church by authors D'Antonio, Davidson, Hoge, and Gautier. Each study has been designed to examine the faith of the Catholic laity, and their relationship to the Catholic Church. Particular emphasis is given to:

* Catholic identity
* Participation in sacraments and devotions
* The locus of moral authority, especially in relation to human sexuality
* The laity's views of the Church's social teachings
* The growing shortage of priests and what to do about it
* Decision making in the Church

Respondent's were segmented by ethnicity, gender and generation. Four generational divides were used: those born before 1940, Pre-Vatican II; those between 1941-1960, Vatican II; between 1961-1978; and those born between 1979-1987, Millennials.

This excellent study will be valuable to those interested in understanding the Catholic Church today - particularly Catholic religious and lay leaders. I have made this book available to participants on our local parish's Pastoral Council and to leaders of the Catholics@Work lay movement. It is imperative, if one wants to work effectively with the laity, to understand the existing landscape (the marketplace). Wishing it to be something else will lead to plans laid waste.

The take-aways for me include: the generational differences, particularly with the Millennials who are the future of the Church; the source of `conservative' vs. `liberal' and how these terms do not describe various points-of-view within the church. As a result, these terms are misunderstood, miscommunicated, and misused - creating a `political' divide.

It would be unfair to the authors to describe the findings in great detail. This is a book that must be purchased, read thoroughly, and referred to often.
A Thorough Look At American Catholic Attitudes  May 10, 2007
It's not that often that I read a book in one sitting, especially if the book is a collection of surveys and statistics, but that's exactly what happened when I came across AMERICAN CATHOLICS TODAY. The book is based on the answers by 875 people who identify themselves as Catholics. The participants are asked about nearly every question possible pertaining to Catholicism in America from acceptance of Church teachings, living as Catholics in the United States today, beliefs regarding the Sacraments, opinions regarding the sexual abuse crisis, and the role of the laity in the Church today.

The results of the surveys are not too surprising. In general the survey and results reveal what observers of the American Catholic Church have maintained for years: Catholics in the United States are barely distinguishable from their non Catholic peers, at least on the surface, but a closer look reveals there can be distinctions in nuance. In a number of ways the Church is healthier than some critics would claim, but it also shows the disconnect between the institutional Church and many American Catholics.

This is the fourth of such surveys, but this volume is significant for some very important reasons. It's the first volume of its kind that has been published since January 2002 when the sexual abuse scandal came to light. It's also the first volume that includes significant data about what it calls "millennial Catholics": those born after the post-Vatican II years. Also demographic groups are changing. Pre-Vatican II Catholics are decreasing and the Vatican II/post Vatican II generations are increasing. There are also anecdotes included in the book about catholic life today that illustrate the results of the survey. The book will be of interest to readers who are interested in Catholic life today, but it will be an important resource for anyone involved in ministry in the Catholic Church. While Church teaching does not bow to popular opinion (as Bishop Gerald Kicanas notes in his introduction), ministry and catechesis does need to consider the reality of Catholic life today to be relevant to people and authentic to the Church's teaching and mission. This volume helps in understanding where American Catholics stand today and more than likely will be a valuable resource for planning in at least the next five to ten years.


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