American Catholic Experience
A History from Colonial Times to the Present
Spanning nearly 500 years, The American Catholic Experience describes the Catholic experience from the arrival of Columbus and the other European explorers to the present day. Jay P. Dolan discusses Catholicism as it spread across the New World, transforming—and being transformed by—the land and its people. The book traces the evolution of the urban ethnic communities by examining the vital contributions of the immigrant church to Catholicism. Finally, Dolan examines the controversy of the modern church and the extraordinary changes in the Catholic consciousness as it comes to grips with such contemporary social and theological issues as war and peace, the arms race, abortion, social justice, the ordination of women, and a married clergy.
"This book ... will quickly capture your attention, and engage your mind, and make you think what it meant—and means—to be 'a Catholic in America.' This book cannot be 'recommended.' It must be labeled 'essential.'" —Spirituality Today
“The American Catholic Experience is a model of cogency, its every seam fastened by rivets of documentation. In it we see ourselves more clearly. This is what we ask from history, and here obtain.” —The Recorder
“For anyone interested in American Catholic history, Dolan’s book is pivotal. The solid research and extensive citations make it a valuable teaching tool, while its solid writing makes the ideas easily accessible.” —St. Anthony Messenger
“In this work, Dolan is concerned less with traditional institutional history—orders, bishops, churches—than with a broader social history of the Catholic experience itself. At the same time, he does not ignore structures and institutions, but seeks to place them within the context of Catholic life. Dolan’s style is provocative and allows him to hold the reader’s interest while providing endless material. This is a helpful volume which serves as an excellent introduction to Catholic experience in America.” —Review and Expositor