American Catholics, American Culture: Tradition and Resistance, is introduced by Peter Steinfels and Robert Royal. Part One, 'Against the Grain,' explores the philosophical and practical differences between Catholicism and American culture on issues in sexuality, marriage, abortion, stem cell research, women's rights, and physician-assisted suicide. The essays attempt to mediate the divide between Catholicism's communal and personalist view of the human person and the American preference for autonomy and pluralism. Part Two, 'Popular Culture & Literature,' confronts the role and interaction of the Church in popular culture and explores the identity of the 'Catholic' writer on the literary page and in the media. Part Three, 'Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice?' endeavors to define what anti-Catholicism is, where it is found in North American culture, what it means for maintaining group identity, and how it can be interpreted as an American or religious phenomenon.
Margaret OOBrien Steinfels, co-director of American Catholics in the Public Square project, was the editor of Commonweal from 1988 to 2002.
Part 1 Preface Part 2 Acknowledgements Part 3 Introduction Part 4 Against the Grain Chapter 5 Catholics in America: Antipathy and Assimilation Chapter 6 Abortion, Sexuality, and Catholicism's Public Presence Chapter 7 The Church's Prophetic Response: Connecting Sexuality, Marriage, Family, and Children: A Response Chapter 8 The Complexities and Ambiguities of the "Prophetic Dimension": A Response Chapter 9 The Pro-Life Message and Catholic Social Teaching: Problems of Reception Chapter 10 The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Pro-Life Agenda: A Response Chapter 11 The Abortion Debate: Good for the Church and Good for American Society Chapter 12 Killing Yourself: Physician-Assisted Suicide in Oregon Part 13 Part II: Popular Culture and Literature Chapter 14 Catholicism as American Popular Culture Chapter 15 "As If in Prayer": A Response to "Catholicism as American Popular Culture" Chapter 16 The Last Catholic Writer in America? Chapter 17 Being a Writer, Being a Catholic: Sometimes the Twain Can Meet Chapter 18 The Press and the Church's Social Teaching: Friends or Foes? Chapter 19 Assertions, Not Reasons: A Response Part 20 Part III: Anti-Catholicism in the United States: The VIew from History Chapter 21 An Ugly Little Secret Revisited: A Pretest on Anti-Catholicism in America Chapter 22 Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice? Yes Chapter 23 Voices from the Field Part 24 About the Contributors