American Parishes

9780823284351: Hardback
Release Date: 2nd June 2019

9780823284344: Paperback
Release Date: 7th June 2019

Dimensions: 152.4 x 228.6

Number of Pages: 224

Edition: 1st Edition

Series Catholic Practice in North America

Fordham University Press

American Parishes

Remaking Local Catholicism

Between individual Catholics and a global institution, thousands of local parishes remake Catholicism each day. With fresh data and sociological methods, this book shows how parishes are shaped by community, geography, and authority; how parishes respond to diversity and change; and how parishes worship and educate for the future of Catholicism.
Hardback / £87.00
Paperback / £23.99

Parishes are the missing middle in studies of American Catholicism. Between individual Catholics and a global institution, the thousands of local parishes are where Catholicism gets remade. American Parishes showcases what social forces shape parishes, what parishes do, how they do it, and what this says about the future of Catholicism in the United States. Expounding an embedded field approach, this book displays the numerous forces currently reshaping American parishes. It draws from sociology of religion, culture, organizations, and race to illuminate basic parish processes, like leadership and education, and ongoing parish struggles like conflict and multiculturalism.

American Parishes brings together contemporary data, methods, and questions to establish a sociological re-engagement with Catholic parishes and a Catholic re-engagement with sociological analysis. Contributions by leading social scientists highlight how community, geography, and authority intersect within parishes. It illuminates and analyzes how growing racial diversity, an aging religious population, and neighborhood change affect the inner workings of parishes.

Contributors: Gary J. Adler Jr., Nancy Ammerman, Mary Jo Bane, Tricia C. Bruce, John A. Coleman, S.J., Kathleen Garces-Foley, Mary Gray, Brett Hoover, Courtney Ann Irby, Tia Noelle Pratt, and Brian Starks

Introduction: What Is a Parish? Why Look at Catholic Parishes?
Gary J. Adler Jr., Tricia C. Bruce, and Brian Starks | 1

Part I : Seeing Parishes Through a Sociological Lens

1. A Brief History of the Sociology of Parishes in the United States
Tricia C. Bruce | 25

2. Studying Parishes: Lessons and New Directions from the Study of Congregations
Nancy T. Ammerman | 47

Part II: Parish Trends

3. The Shifting Landscape of US Catholic Parishes, 1998–2012
Gary J. Adler Jr. | 69

4. Stable Transformation: Catholic Parishioners in the United States
Mark M. Gray | 95

Part III: Race, Class, and Diversity in Parish Life

5. Power in the Parish
Brett C. Hoover | 111

6. Liturgy as Identity Work in Predominantly African American Parishes
Tia Noelle Pratt | 132

7. A House Divided
Mary Jo Bane | 153

Part IV: Young Catholics In (and Out) of Parishes

8. Parishes as Homes and Hubs
Kathleen Garces-Foley | 173

9. Preparing to Say “I Do”
Courtney Ann Irby | 196

Part V : The Practice and Future of a Sociology of Catholic Parishes

10. A Sociologist Looks at His Own Parish: A Conversation with John A. Coleman, SJ
John A. Coleman, SJ, with editors Gary J. Adler Jr., Tricia C. Bruce, and Brian Starks | 217

Conclusion: Parishes as the Embedded Middle of American Catholicism
Gary J. Adler Jr., Tricia C. Bruce, and Brian Starks | 231

Acknowledgments | 247

List of Contributors | 249

Index | 253

Gary J. Adler, Jr. (Edited By)
Gary J. Adler, Jr. is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Pennsylvania State University.
Tricia C. Bruce (Edited By)
Tricia C. Bruce is Associate Professor of Sociology at Maryville College and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Brian Starks (Edited By)
Brian Starks is Associate Professor of Sociology at Kennesaw State University.

Led off by a very helpful introduction, the essays in this volume, while addressing various dimensions of U.S. parishes, all exhibit a firm grounding in the broader scholarly literature, plenty of sociological insights, and writing that is both accessible and engaging. This is a terrific, much-needed collection that, in my estimation, deserves a wide readership.

Jerome P. Baggett
Sense of the Faithful: How American Catholics Live Their Faith