Conservative Catholicism and the Carmelites: Identity, Ethnicity, and Tradition in the Modern Church

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9780253340115: Conservative Catholicism and the Carmelites: Identity, Ethnicity, and Tradition in the Modern Church

This book explores the historical transformation after Vatican II of one Carmelite community into a neotraditionalist order defending Catholic teaching and spearheading a movement among women to define Catholicism. This historical analysis suggests that the fundamental disagreement between "conservative" and "liberal" Catholics lies in a dispute about looking to Anglo-Protestant culture for a theological and ecclesiological model for the church.

Conservative Catholicism and the Carmelites analyzes the appeal of the order to Latino/a communities in the United States, where the author finds that neotraditionalist Catholicism helps maintain and articulate ethnocultural identities. Darryl V. Caterine suggests the existence of at least three "churches" encompassed by post-Vatican II, U.S. Catholicism: a liberal contingent embracing Anglo-Protestantism; a neotraditionalist contingent in critical tension with Anglo-Protestantism; and a contingent of transnational Catholic communities from Spanish, New World cultures in critical tension with Anglo-Protestant culture.

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About the Author:

Darryl Caterine is a specialist in the history of religions in the Americas. He earned his degrees in religious studies from Harvard University and the University of California at Santa Barbara. His current scholarly interests focus on the interactions between religion and culture in both the United States and Latin America. Caterine presently teaches in the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College.

Review:

"Caterine (Dartmouth College) has written a brilliant and insightful study of ethnic identity and the powerful forces of change in the American Catholic Church. The author has grounded his study in firsthand ethnographic fieldwork among borderland and diasporic Catholics of Mexican, Cuban, and Filipino origins. The appeal of the Carmelite order to these ethnic groups and to other Catholics throughout the United States is a reaction to the failure of modernist forces that threaten to dissolve Catholicism into Anglo-Protestant culture. Caterine designates the Carmelites' theological and political worldview as neotraditionalist. The Mexican, Filipino, and Latino parishes to which the Carmelites' neotraditionalism appeals are all resisting assimilation into Anglo-Protestant culture. This volume calls into question the notion that the American Catholic Church is evolving in a unilinear direction of democratization and Protestantism. Neotraditionalist Catholicism is a thriving alternative in some quarters and has gained a foothold in the evolution of numerous disenfranchised ethnic groups who find comfort in older forms of Catholicism. This book is very well written, organized, and conceived. It will appeal to a broad readership, particularly to anyone interested in the relationship between religion and identity." —J. J. Preston, SUNY College at Oneonta, Choice, July 2002

(J. J. Preston, SUNY College at Oneonta Choice 2002-01-00)

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Darryl Victor Caterine
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