Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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Social scientific study of Roman Catholicism varies over time, as international or domestic events make religion, and Roman Catholicism specifically, seem connected or unconnected to significant shapings of the world and of human behaviors. Conceptions of sociological theory and practice also make a difference. Here too the eye of the beholder importantly affects, first, what is seen, and then what is judged as significant. Sociologists are currently, although unevenly, retrieving a sense of the great importance of culture and the construction of meaning for adequately understanding human behavior, especially personal and shared identities, and this "hermeneutical" turn significantly makes them more attentive to the interpretative power and social consequences of the Catholic religious imagination and its dense and world-wide institutionalization.


If we roughly date the emergence of a self-conscious social science with the era following Comte (d. 1857), then we can say that classical social science treated religion, and especially Catholicism, in the Enlightenment fashion as a form of premodern thought producing and sustaining authoritarian regimes destined for replacement through scientific and moral progress. The Marxian revolutionist version of this "projectionist false consciousness" was merely the least equivocal and most assured rendering of this broad Enlightenment thesis. Although many qualifications need making, in social science, this Enlightenment premise was fashioned into "secularization" theory. Again with many qualifications, no small part of the early moral energy of social science derived from the expectation that an applied social science would replace religiously derived ethics in the guidance of society and the legitimation of its organizing principles and outcomes.

Because of its hierarchical organization, its anchoring ritual, and its premodern doctrines, especially its defense of sacramental reality, Roman Catholicism represented to social science intellectuals the most vivid example of the Enlightenment premise that at bottom there was no metaphysical distinction between religion and magic that might require any serious application of the terms true or false . In his early essay on religious evolution, Bellah (1970:32 ff.) more benignly but firmly located Catholicism within the "historic religions" strata, which he contrasted with the "early modern" represented by Reformation Protestantism and especially its valorization of individual conscience. Itself ironically mirroring Enlightenment-inspired secularization theory, a highly defensive post-Reformation Catholicism could promise to reward empirical inquiry and (especially) evolutionary schema, with few initiatives or historical surprises beyond what some might regard as an interesting genius for survival.

Although there were some conspicuous exceptions, especially in the immediate post-World War II era (Thomas O'Dea, Werner Stark, and Joseph Fichter being among the most obvious), for the first part of the twentieth century the term residual would have satisfactorily categorized any of these lingering empirical interests in Roman Catholicism for all but those few who came to be associated with the American Catholic Sociological Society (1938-1967). In fairness, it should be noted that these explicitly Catholic sociologists did not consider their rejection of a "value-free sociology" as apologetics but, in anticipation of postmodernist sentiment, as intellectually honest and necessary for the advancement of a critical sociology that, for them, was aligned with the tradition of Catholic social thought. (On the desire to make social science capable of social criticism, see Furfey 1946; for some of the tensions between social science and its Catholic context, see Fichter 1973; for the continuing appeal of this explicit "integralist" linking of social science with Catholic social thought, consider the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, formed in 1992.)

The Contemporary Setting

Today, as the varieties of positivistic social science yield intellectual terrain to the pluralisms of the postmodern, and Roman Catholicism shaped by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) struggles to achieve more ecumenical, interfaith, and world-engaging spiritualities, a changed social science finds more of interest in a changed Roman Catholicism—and vice versa. Catholicism appears as an important actor in and influence on those world events (Johnston and Sampson 1994), from the Philippines to Poland, connected with the demise of world communism and, closer to home, in those "boundary disputes" concerning law and morality lately labeled "culture wars." On most of these issues, world Catholicism is found to align itself with the defense of human rights, indigenous culture, and the advancement of a human solidarity no longer plausibly carried by Marxist and Enlightenment ideologies.

Varieties of liberation theology, the "preferential option for the poor," are only the most explicit signaling of this uneven but explicit institutional effort to change from a nineteenth-century psychology of defensive maintenance to one of critical but dialogic engagement. Bellah (1970:251) aptly characterized the classical era (especially Durkheim and Freud) of social science's more sophisticated treatment of religion as either "symbolic reductionism," whereby religion's emotional truths are categorized as prescientific thought, or as "consequential reductionism," whereby its social force is explained by (and reduced to) its replaceable social functions. In contemporary social science, there are challenging possibilities for a less reductionistic and more open-minded interest in the reciprocal influences of Catholicism, culture, society, and politics. The methodologies are as varied as the questions asked.

Survey research : Contemporary surveys on Catholic beliefs, attitudes, and the varieties of church participation are made by sociologists, church staff, and pollsters. Greeley has summarized (1977, 1989) decades of survey research about Catholicism (often rhetorically marshaled to debunk what he calls stereotypes of things Catholic) dealing with myriad topics such as Catholics and social class, religious beliefs, attendance rates, institutional loyalty, political attitudes, acceptance of church moral teachings, and the performance of parochial schools. Although as recently as the mid-1960s, half the Catholic adult population was still either first-or second-generation American, post-World War II educational and employment opportunities led to the "mid classification" of white American Catholics. By the 1970s, Catholics exceeded the national average in educational and income levels. Inspecting apostasy rates (between 14% and 20%), Mass attendance (more than 70% are likely to say at least twice a month), support for Catholic schools (high), acceptance of church leadership ("selective loyalty" whereby laity readily affirm core doctrines while in effect following the "Protestant principle" of individual judgment on moral teachings), and satisfaction with local parish life (high), Greeley concludes that Catholics in America are "acculturated but not assimilated."

Later studies (Seidler and Meyer 1989, D'Antonio et al. 1989) corroborate this broad assessment. In a longitudinal case study of a Catholic high school, adeptly titled Conscience First, Tradition Second , Patrick McNamara (SUNY Press 1992) reports a receptivity toward the peace and justice themes of Vatican II and the 1980 pastoral letters (The Challenge of Peace and Economic Justice for All ) of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, a broad-based agreement that they should listen to the church's teaching but then make up their own minds, and only about 12% who years later characterized themselves as alienated from the church.

Empirical studies of Catholicism tend to discourage any single-variable explanations of the decline or increase of specific Catholic behaviors during any given period of time. For example, although Greeley initially argued that the reduced level of Catholic institutional conformity was largely due to the 1968 encyclical of Pope Paul VI titled Humanae Vitae , which affirmed the traditional teaching that every conjugal act (save those during naturally infecund periods) had to be open to the possibility of conception, other studies were not able to corroborate this confidently. The fact that church attendance during the same period declined in liberal Protestant denominations, where there were no controversies about contraception, minimally suggested more complexity. More recently, Greeley found that only 10% of those who rejected the ban on artificial contraception and said they had little confidence in Catholic officials had completely abandoned church attendance (1989:50). In practice, church hierarchies are likely to interpret the ban as a matter of idealism, while local clergy are likely to ignore it. The same sorts of complex mix of continuity, accommodation, and subtle reinterpretation are found in other areas. Indeed, devising the appropriate wording for questionnaire items represents a constant challenge for the sociological imagination.

Studies about marriage stability among Catholics have not yet attempted to incorporate the distinction important in Catholic teaching between "annulment" and divorce. But the evidence shows increased acceptance for both among Catholics. Past studies reported that Catholics were far less likely than Protestants to end their marriages in courts of law, but these differences have declined. The Notre Dame study of registered Catholics (1987) found that 64% thought "the church should liberalize its position on divorce." American Catholicism seems to be handling this issue in historic Catholic ways of viewing law as expressing an ideal often failed and then rectified by pastoral accommodation and canon law, and in this way seeking to preserve the principle while reinterpreting its application. Marriage tribunals petitioned for annulment increasingly rely on psychological factors for determining whether a marriage was initially "sacramentally valid," declaring valid only those unions formed by the free consent of partners, which, in turn, requires the maturity to make such a commitment.

It is ideologically important to Roman Catholicism to present all changes in teaching and practice in a framework of continuity that purports to show that core doctrines and teachings have been more deeply understood, that is, "developed," rather than displaced by new doctrines. The legitimation of its magisterial teaching and hierarchical authority is highly dependent on such theological reconstruction. But so too is its considerable power for social critique. For example, the American Bishops' widely discussed 1983 pastoral letter The Challenge of Peace , which condemned the use of nuclear weapons and even the threat to use them, relied heavily on the principle they had also enunciated in their opposition to abortion, namely, that innocent human life cannot directly be killed. Among other dimensions of ecclesial social psychology that need noting in an ecumenical era is that one result of the Reformation seems to be an unplanned division of labor within Christianity whereby classical Protestantism tended to understand itself as representing individual conscience and cultural flexibility while Catholicism in opposition defined itself as the primary locus of Christian memory and moral tradition (Kelly 1984).


While the Catholic magisterium emphasizes moral traditionalism and Catholic behavior evinces a more individualized approach to these moral norms, in terms of "culture war" issues, neither Catholic laity nor hierarchical teaching fit into the conventional "liberal" versus "conservative" labels routinely employed in journalism. The standard media presentation of polls showing the "Americanization" of Catholic attitudes toward reproductive and "lifestyle" issues frames lay tolerance against a deepening magisterium rigidity in a tone suggesting "gathering storms" of revolt. But the data suggest considerably more complexity, and it's not always a simple matter to represent succinctly Catholic reactions to "culture war" issues. On both the federal and the local levels, depending on the issue, Catholics are as likely to form coalitions with mainstream Protestants as with evangelical Protestants. The frequently found generalization is that Catholic leaders and much of the laity will be conservative on moral issues and liberal on "peace and justice" ones, but, even here, there are nuances that need noting. Catholics on any level rarely involve themselves in disputes about prayer in the schools or the teaching of creationism. Catholic leadership vigorously rejects welfare reform that penalizes unmarried mothers by providing no additional funds to children born on welfare, anticipating that this frugality assumes reliance on Medicaid-funded abortion.

Indeed, the institutional Catholic position on legal abortion especially separates the "moral conservatism" of the Catholic tradition from the "fiscal conservatism" found in antiabortion Republican politics since the 1980 presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan. Although publicly identified with opposition to legal abortion, the position of the American Catholic bishops is that abortion opposition should reflect a "consistent ethic of life." This "consistent ethic" not only supports social services for pregnant women otherwise economically driven to consider abortion—both the voluntary efforts of groups such as "Birth-right" and "Alternatives to Abortion International" and government social services—it also opposes capital punishment, the arms race, and the militarization of national security. Even when they support some legalization of abortion, American Catholics reject "abortion on demand" and reject the categorization of abortion simply as a form of birth control (Gremillion and Castelli 1987). One of the most admired Catholic politicians by right-to-life groups is Pennsylvania's Governor William Casey, whose state abortion regulations, found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992 (Kelly 1995), are modeled on a "woman's right to know" and the provision of state resources to encourage childbirth. While the role of Roman Catholics in the abortion controversy has received some scholarly attention (Byrnes and Segers 1992), research on its role in opposing "assisted suicide" legislation is only in its beginning stages.

Although the common journalistic "Catholic" story highlights the gap between lay attitudes and hierarchical teaching, even the term quiet schism does not fit the survey data showing the discrepancy between lay opinion and magisterium teaching. For example, polls report the vast majority of American Catholics say they admire Pope John Paul II; the majority say he is "infallible" with regard to core beliefs of faith but less than half will say he is "infallible" when he teaches about morals. It's not easy for interpreters to state definitively what such findings mean, because by the norms of Catholic theology itself, pre-Vatican II beliefs can be said to express an "overbelief" rather than essential teaching. In addition, throughout many centuries, Catholic political ethics, in the tradition of "prudence" or practical reason, has acknowledged (although not always practiced) that disagreement over a political application of a moral principle does not necessarily mean disagreement over the moral principle itself. Because so much of Catholic social and moral teaching about the family and reproductive ethics assumes a supporting community and a political authority responsive to the redistributionist ethics of subsidiarity , there are dynamic interconnections, often missed, among the magisterium's moral traditionalism, the local churches' organizational vitality, and the increasingly critical public policy positions of Catholic teaching. All dioceses, for example, have extensive programs in "natural family planning," "pre-Cana" marriage preparation programs for those thinking of marriage, and "Cana" for engaged Catholics. Only about a fifth of all American parishes have explicit ministries for the divorced and separated, but Catholic Family Ministry officials note that most divorcing Catholics prefer help and support groups from a parish where they are not personally known.

Except for the conventional construction of abortion politics, the positions taken by the American bishops on questions of economic justice and national security are well to the "left" of American political discourse. The church's very moral traditionalism about the centrality of families is itself a strong ideological and organizational propellant toward a critique of market-driven political economies. Catholic documents now routinely judge the economy in terms of how it affects the poor and routinely criticize military spending and the militarization of foreign aid. Although these criticisms rarely penetrate in much detail to the parish level, American Catholics, when compared with the generic Protestant, remain more likely to support government intervention to aid those adversely affected by market forces and to be critical of both isolationist and hegemonic tendencies in foreign policies (Gallup and Castelli 1987). Perhaps missing the connection between Catholicism's moral conservatism and critical social teaching, D'Antonio et al. (1989) were surprised to find that the more orthodox the respondents, the more likely they were to say they read and approved of the pastoral letters The Challenge of Peace and Economic Justice for All . Despite their upward mobility, Catholics are still more likely to identify as Democrats than Republicans, and Catholic college graduates are more than twice as likely as Protestant college graduates to believe that government should do more to improve society (Kosmin and Lachman 1993).

When compared with the generic Protestant, Catholics have been found more tolerant of homosexuals (Gallup and Castelli 1987, Greeley 1990). Hierarchical responses to gay rights have been supportive of homosexual claims and concerns when they can be interpreted as a matter of general respect for the human person—such as the right to employment, nondiscrimination, health care, protection against intolerance—and oppositional to policies or politics that explicitly suggest a public definition of homosexuality as a sexual lifestyle morally equal to marriage between heterosexuals.

Declining Number of Clergy and Religious

Although Catholics generally approve of church leadership and at least mildly reflect in their political positions the broad priorities of Catholic social thought, soon after Vatican II there were far fewer clerical and publicly vowed leadership left of whom to approve. Hoge (1987) and Schoenherr and Young (1993) document the large decline in the numbers of seminarians and priests in the post-Vatican years. The decline in the number of American sisters was even steeper (Wittberg 1994). In 1967, there were 59,892 priests and 7,972 seminarians. By 1985, there were 57,313 priests and 4,063 seminarians. At their peak in 1965, Roman Catholic religious communities in this country included 181,421 women; in 1994, there were about 94,000, and their median age was over 65.

While vocations have greatly increased in non-Western cultures, they have not revived in the West. There are more than 19,000 Catholic parishes in America. By the early 1990s, Wallace (1992) was able to study women parish administrators among the several hundred parishes without a resident priest. Murnion et al. (1992) estimate that 0.8% of American parishes lack resident priests and that about two-thirds of all parishes have only one priest serving full-time.

The Notre Dame study of registered Catholics (Castelli and Gremillion 1987) found that 63% would accept married clergy but were less likely (38%) to approve of the ordination of women. Data show that laity are more likely to accept these changes than to approve of them, but recent polls show incremental increases in approval of both a married clergy and the ordination of women. No doubt, future research will show a deepening conflict in the area of eligibility criteria for ordained ministry.

Declining Professional Class, Ascending Laity

Although not compensating for the decline in the numbers of ordained and of vowed religious, there has been a great growth in newer forms of ministry. There are now over 10,000 American men in the restored order of the diaconate and a proliferation of lay ministries. Not counting school and maintenance staff, there are now about 10,000 paid lay pastoral ministers, mostly women and mostly married, engaged in parish roles formerly performed by priests and sisters, such as pastoral administrator, director of religious education, catechumenate director, liturgy director, youth minister, business manager, and so on (Murnion et al. 1992). Increasingly there are suggestions that women be ordained to the diaconate, which has clearer New Testament precedents than their ordination to the priesthood.

Historic Catholicism resists sectarianism and seeks to interpenetrate cultures and societies. Representing this "church" ethos, as well as the needs of its early American immigrant past, there are some 232 church-related colleges and universities enrolling over 550,000 students. Greeley (1990) has pronounced the undergraduate colleges to be "decent" and the graduate schools to be "mediocre." The vast Catholic grammar and secondary school systems (7,174 Catholic elementary schools in 1993) are recognized as the equal of most of the public school system in middle-class areas, superior to those in poorer areas, and especially highly regarded for their relatively high success rate with minority students. Just about 9% of blacks are Catholic, but they are more likely to be college graduates than other Americans and 40% more likely than other black Americans (Kosmin and Lachman 1993). There are about 640 Catholic hospitals serving 41 million patients as well as more than 1,000 long-term-care facilities and many other health services. There is also a large "Catholic charity" network providing social work services in each Catholic diocese. Issues of church-state relationship and Catholic "identity" are increasingly discussed by elites in this dense network of institutional presences, but social science research is surprisingly sparse. Other topics need more attention as well.

National surveys do not always obtain reliable data on nonwhite Catholics. Although there is currently considerable anxious speculation about, for example, the retention rate of Catholics of Hispanic backgrounds, the few systematic studies available (Fitzpatrick 1971, Gonzalez and LaVelle 1985) reported some loss but mostly relative stability. More recent reports (Suro 1989), however, find "perhaps more than four million of the 20 million Hispanic Americans now practice some form of Protestant Christianity." Future studies will address the complex methodological issues of relating present identification with religion of origin, because the vitality of Protestantism in Latin American cultures makes untenable the older assumption that Hispanic culture itself produced Catholic allegiance on some level. Also complicating survey research is the oft-reported finding that many Hispanics practice a noninstitutionally based religion focused on cultural identity and family.

It is worth noting that academically based scholars interested in non-Caucasian Catholics and multiculturalism should not overlook studies done by scholars working within church institutional settings, such as the more than 60 diocesan offices of Pastoral Research and Planning and the research done by the National Conference of Catholic Education dealing with Hispanic, black, and Asian Catholics. Perhaps of particular interest are the emerging studies of Hispanic Catholicism by sociologists of Hispanic backgrounds themselves (for example, Diaz-Stevens 1993).

Applied and Institutionally Based Research

Although applied research has been institutionalized to some extent in American Protestantism since the early 1900s, it was not until the post-Vatican 1960s that sponsored research offices started in Roman Catholicism. Before that time, there were individual and even university-based collaborative efforts (for example, at Catholic University, Loyola University of Chicago, and Fordham University) that applied current research methods to administrative concerns, such as improving parish life or evangelization. But these were ad hoc and only implicitly focused on institutional use. The first studies (e.g., Buchofen 1926, Bustanagel 1930, Schnepp 1942, see Doyle 1995) could generously be described as applied and interdisciplinary in that they employed specific questions and orientations derived from canon law and studied topics such as parish administration and rates of defection.

By the 1950s, this long-standing interest in parish life went beyond administrative needs, and sociologists associated with recently formed departments of sociology at Catholic universities developed more sophisticated surveys and typologies (e.g., Fichter 1954; other contributors to parish research were Joseph H. Scheuer, John P. Donovan, and Joseph F. Schuyler, S.J.). This period of informal overlap of church and university research interests ended by the mid-1960s. The American Catholic Sociological Review , which started in 1939 as the journal of the American Catholic Sociological Society, became Sociological Analysis in 1964, signifying both the professionalization of sociology among Catholics and the loss of the earlier sense that Catholic social thought was such a distinctly privileged source of social critique that in itself it could lay claim to an aligned applied empirical method. Still, both applied (Sweetser 1983) and university-based research (Gremillion and Castelli 1987) on parish life continued.

Since the 1960s, centers of applied research also emerged outside academia under church auspices. The Second Vatican Council sanctioned a more collaborative style of decision making, which, along with the adoption of contemporary models of data-based managerial styles, led to the institutionalization of data gathering offices in most Catholic dioceses. The first office of Pastoral Research opened in 1966 in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and by the end of the 1980s about half of all Catholic dioceses had such offices. The research done by these offices covers a wide range of topics and contains data useful for sociologists of religion: profiles of dioceses and parishes derived from census data and diocesan censuses; evaluation of diocesan programs; attitudes, beliefs, and practices of Catholics; reception of sacraments; diocesan and parish need assessment; studies of Hispanic, black, and Asian Catholics. Doyle (1995) provides a history of the first empirical studies of Catholic parish life and the formation of the research offices connected with Catholic dioceses.

Since 1969, the Lilly Endowment has funded many research projects on American Roman Catholicism (see Kelly 1988, 1989). Other important sources of empirical data about Catholic life generated by nonacademic sources include the National Catholic Educational Association, Washington, D.C.; the National Pastoral Life Center, 299 Elizabeth Street, New York City 10012; and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, located at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

World Catholicism

The empirical and ideological complexity of Catholicism, it bears repeating, deflates any confident air of generalization. For example, in critical tone and revolutionary aim, the post-Vatican II, Latin American-initiated "liberation theology"—wedding an adapted Marxist vocabulary to Christian discipleship in a critique of capitalism—is worlds apart from the "managerial" North American applied research just described. Although any summary of the range and importance of liberation theology, and its varying ecclesiastical controversies and sociopolitical impacts, cannot be attempted here, it should at least be noted that its "liberationist" focus on "praxis" (action) and equality has already influenced North American thought on such topics as feminism, the nature of the church, the role of "small groups" in the formation of disciples, and the moral challenges of globalization. This influence is likely to increase, although always as greatly shaped by the force of North American culture.

Obviously, research on international Catholicism resists summarization even more than research within a nation-state. Less than one-quarter of the world's population is Christian, but about half of that is Catholic. The rough comparative statistics (see Gannon 1988) show a continuing "de-Europeanization" of Catholicism, with Latin America containing more Catholics than Europe and North America combined. The fastest growing Catholic churches are in Africa and Asia. Throughout Europe, the subcultural institutions that sheltered a Catholic identity have been largely dismantled, but a diffuse attachment, fitting neither the models of secularization nor of classical ecclesiology, remains. Seidler's (see Seidler and Mayer 1989) term contested accommodation captures well enough the broad pattern of hierarchical responses to modern Western political and cultural development. But finding the apt term to characterize the complex lay responses is more difficult.

Depending on their own appraisal, sociologists describe this "diffuse, more than residual but less than committed" attachment to Catholicism that remains in highly secularized Europe in various ways, ranging from Greeley's rather sanguine phrase communal Catholic to Martin's more skeptical apolitical and doctrineless attachment (1988). For example, while 52% of French Catholics typically describe themselves as "nonpracticing," polls find that 83% continue to identify themselves as "Catholic," 75% believe that baptism is important, and 61% say religious education is valuable. Hornsby-Smith (in Gannon 1988) reports that Catholic institutions in Britain are attenuated but that Catholic beliefs are widely disseminated "albeit in a somewhat amorphous manner." The greater and more intense role of Catholicism in Ireland and Poland is explained by noting the "civil religion" functions that still pertain there but not elsewhere. But nowhere can it safely be said that Catholicism no longer matters in understanding behaviors or events.

In a secondary analysis of the 1985-1986 International Social Survey Project , Greeley (1989), guided by the classic analyses of Weber and Durkheim, found in a half-dozen European states small but statistically significant differences between Catholics and generic Protestants on "pre-capitalist" and "mechanical solidarity" types of measures such as valuing equality more than merit-based distributions, favoring more equal distribution of incomes, approving of more government ownership of industry, and affirming more "immanent" and benevolent images of God. Martin (1985) agrees on the different "styles" of being Catholic and Protestant but focuses on the institutional "density" of Catholicism instead of on beliefs and attitudes: Where Catholicism is also the carrier of national symbols of resistance or defiance (Poland, Ireland), differentiation between church and state has not yet led to a comparable thinning of institutional presence.

In non-Western areas, where Catholics are a minority, the Catholic blend of theological conservatism and political liberalism supports a vital social presence and a sharp reminder that Roman Catholicism intends to be, and often is, experienced as far more than a federation of regional or national churches. Casanova's (1994) study of the public dimensions of religion describes Catholicism especially as being transformed from a "state-oriented" kind of civil religion to a "society-oriented" institution that, ironically, carries the Enlightenment project of achieving human freedom and moral progress into the post-Enlightenment era.

Not to be lost among "geopolitical" investigations are the more qualitative and ethnographic studies loosely called studies of "folk Catholicisms" that exist not only in nonindustrial regions but also in highly urbanized areas where often defiant supporters of "Marian" apparitions can be found as well as stubbornly and often antagonistic forms of pre-Vatican II Catholicism (see the studies by Carroll, Hynes, and Dinges in O'Toole 1990). These phenomena, perhaps more dramatically than what is construed as "normal" religiosity, remind the sociologist that the critical and illuminating power of classical treatments of religion should not be abandoned even as their reductionism is no longer epistemologically privileged.

Social scientists especially interested in scholarship that contributes to a deeper understanding of the conditions of world justice will be most interested in the study of Roman Catholicism's Vatican II commitment to ecumenical and interfaith dialogue and, since Pope John XXIII's papacy, the significance of the use by all succeeding popes of an explicit appeal to "all men and women of good will" in all their encyclicals dealing with broadly human concerns.

James R. Kelly


R. N. Bellah, Beyond Belief (New York: Harper, 1970)

C. A. Buchofen, The Canonical and Civil Status of Catholic Parishes in the United States (St. Louis: Herder, 1926)

C. V. Bustanagel, The Appointment of Parochial Adjuncts and Assistants (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1930)

T. A. Byrnes and M. C. Segers, The Catholic Church and the Politics of Abortion (Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1992)

J. Casanova, Public Religions in the Modern World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994)

W. V. D'Antonio et al., American Catholic Laity (Kansas City, Mo.: Sheed & Ward, 1989)

A. M. Diaz-Stevens, Oxcart Catholicism on Fifth Avenue (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1993)

R. N. Doyle, Diocesan Planning and Research , Doctoral dissertation, Fordham University, 1995

J. H. Fichter, Southern Parish (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954)

J. H. Fichter, One Man Research (New York: Wiley, 1973)

J. P. Fitzpatrick, Puerto Rican Americans (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1971)

P. H. Furfey, "Value Judgments in Sociology," American Catholic Sociological Review 7(1946):83-95

G. Gallup, Jr., and J. Castelli, The American Catholic People (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1987)

T. M. Gannon (ed.), World Catholicism in Transition (New York:Macmillan, 1988)

R. O. Gonzalez and M. LaVelle, The Hispanic Catholic in the United States (New York: Northeast Catholic Pastoral Center for Hispanics, 1985)

A. M. Greeley, The American Catholic (New York: Basic Books, 1977)

A. M. Greeley, "Protestant and Catholic," American Sociological Review 54(1989):485-502

A. M. Greeley et al., Catholic Schools in a Declining Church (Kansas City, Mo.: Sheed & Ward, 1976)

J. Gremillion and J. Castelli, The Emerging Parish (San Francisco, Calif.: Harper, 1987)

D. R. Hoge, Future of Catholic Leadership (Kansas City, Mo.: Sheed & Ward, 1987)

D. Johnston and C. Sampson, Religion: The Missing Dimension of Statecraft (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994)

J. R. Kelly, "Catholicism and Modern Memory," Sociological Analysis 45(1984):131-144

J. R. Kelly, The First Decade of Grant Making for the Study of Roman Catholicism (Indianapolis: Lilly Foundation, 1988)

J. R. Kelly, "Data and Mystery," America (Nov. 1989): 345-350

J. R. Kelly, "Beyond Compromise," in Abortion Politics in American States , ed. M. C. Segars and T. A. Byrnes (Armonk, N.Y.: Sharpe, 1995): 205-224

B. Kosmin and S. P. Lachman, One Nation Under God (New York: Harmony, 1993)

D. Martin, "Religion and Public Values," Review of Religious Research 26(1985):313-331

D. Martin, "Catholicism in Transition," in T. M. Gannon (1988), q.v .: 3-35

P. J. Murnion et al., New Parish Ministries (New York: National Pastoral Life Center, 1992)

R. O'Toole (ed.), Sociological Studies in Roman Catholicism (Lewiston, N.Y.: Mellen, 1990)

G. J. Schnepp, Leakage from a Catholic Parish (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1942)

R. A. Schoenherr and L. A. Young, Full Pews and Empty Altars (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993)

J. Seidler and K. Meyer, Conflict and Change in the Catholic Church (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1989)

R. Suro, "Switch by Hispanic Catholics Changes Face of U.S. Religion," New York Times (Mar. 14, 1989): 1

T. P. Sweetser, Successful Parishes (New York: Harper, 1983)

R. Wallace, They Call Her Pastor (Albany: SUNY Press, 1992)

P. Wittberg, The Rise and Fall of Catholic Religious Orders (Albany: SUNY, 1994).

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