It is no secret: the body of Christ in the United States is broken. While universality—and unity amid diversity—is a fundamental characteristic of Roman Catholicism, all-too-familiar issues related to gender, sexuality, race, and authority have rent the church. Healthy debates, characteristic of a living tradition, suffer instead from an absence of genuine engagement and dialogue. But there is still much that binds American Catholics. In naming the wounds and exploring their social and religious underpinnings, Polarization in the US Catholic Church underscores how shared beliefs and aspirations can heal deep fissures and the hurts they have caused. Cutting across disciplinary and political lines, this volume brings essential commentary in the direction of reclaimed universality among American Catholics.
Mary Ellen Konieczny is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame. She holds a PhD from the University of Chicago and an MDiv from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and she previously worked in ministry and administration for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. Her book, The Spirit's Tether: Family, Work, and Religion among American Catholics, is an ethnography of liberal and conservative Catholic parishes examining how religion and family life support and shape moral and political polarization.
Charles C. Camosy (PhD, University of Notre Dame) is associate professor of theology at Fordham University. His articles have appeared in publications including American Journal of Bioethics, Journal of the Catholic Health Association, Los Angeles Times, and America. He is also the author of Too Expensive to Treat?, Peter Singer and Christian Ethics, For Love of Animals, and Beyond the Abortion Wars. He advises the Faith Outreach office of the Humane Society and the ethics committee of Children's Hospital of New York.
Tricia C. Bruce (PhD, University of California Santa Barbara) is associate professor of sociology at Maryville College and author of Faithful Revolution: How Voice of the Faithful Is Changing the Church. Her second book (forthcoming) explores the use of "personal parishes" in response to cultural, ideological, and ethnic diversity among US Catholics. She also co-leads the American Parish Project and has conducted applied research for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.