Ever since the founding of the United States of America, the relationship between Catholicism and the State or society has been perceived as being particularly problematic. The common addition of the adjective "Roman" to "Catholicism" is already in itself a hint at a situation which is characteristic of Catholicism in the United States: On the one hand, there is the universal claim of the Church of Rome and the primacy of the Pope. On the other hand, there are the fundamental principles of religious freedom and the separation of Church and State as set down in the American Constitution. In a nation whose self-image has always been tied to its Protestant origins and which, in accordance with its republican principles, has rejected the European model of a state church system, American Catholics have always found themselves in a precarious situation.
Far into the twentieth century, they were in a position of marginalization, exclusion, and poor social acceptance. However, the election of John F. Kennedy as the first Catholic president of the United States as well as the dynamic process set off by the Second Vatican Council have been crucial turning points for American Catholicism. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, American Catholicism is confronted with a series of new national and global challenges. First of all, rapid changes in the ethnic make-up of the American society have had far-reaching repercussions on the Catholic Church in which an increasing number of Hispanics and Asians have been gaining influence. Secondly, in a liberal and pluralistic society, the Catholic Church of America does not only have to compete with a wide range of other religious denominations, but it also has to assert itself against a thriving number of secular and non-secular belief-systems. In light of these changes, it seems essential that the Catholic Church should redefine its role in a pluralistic society whose prevailing features of fragmentation and individualism have often caused a general feeling of insecurity and a loss of orientation. At the same time, it is of vital importance for the Church to sustain the very basis of its influence in American society and therefore to reaffirm its commitment to those values of freedom, democracy, and liberalism which are under increasing attack by militant proponents of fundamentalist ideologies.
The spring conference in 2009 at the Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt encourages an interdisciplinary investigation into the culture of Catholicism in its historical and contemporary dimensions.
The focus of research will be on the following issues:
1. The role of Catholicism in American history
2. The position of the Church in a multiethnic and multicultural society
3. Catholic schools and universities: profiles and concepts
4. Catholicism in art, literature, and the media.
The Conference Publication is currently being prepared for publication.
|Tagungsprogramm - PDF|
Angaben zum Forschungsprojekt
|Beginn des Projekts:||26. März 2009|
|Projektleitung:||Schnackertz, Prof. Dr. Hermann Josef|
|Finanzierung des Projekts:||Begutachtete Drittmittel|
|Schlagwörter:||Konferenz Kultur Katholizismus USA|
|Themengebiete:||B Theologie und Religionswissenschaften, Religionspädagogik > BB Allgemeines zur Theologie|
H Anglistik; Amerikanistik > HR Amerikanische Literatur - Allgemeines; sämtliche Epochen
|Projekttyp:||Tagung, Konferenz, etc.|