About This Issue
This issue of American Catholic Studies – summer 2011 – includes articles and reviews that relate to both the past and present of the Catholic Church in the United States. J. Patrick Hornbeck, II (Fordham University) examines the topic of deconversion from Roman Catholicism, an important phenomena in contemporary life. Professor Hornbeck argues that scholars have not engaged Catholic deconversions as a topic of study, and identifies some key issues at stake "in the practice and study of deconversions."
Michael DeStefano's article looks at an aspect of American Catholicism that took place during the early republic: Archbishop John Carroll and the building of the Baltimore Cathedral. Dr. DeStefano explains that Carroll used language "drawn from the amplitude apologetic, a defense of the truth of the Catholic Church that emphasized the church's worldwide diffusion and magnitude." America's first bishop hoped the new cathedral would move the Catholic Church from a marginal position to one that demonstrated it was clearly the true religion in a land of many denominations.
Our cover essay is also a full-length article. Patrick Carey (Marquette University) "traces Avery Dulles' understanding of the relationship between faith and culture from the time of his conversion to Catholicism in 1940 to the end of his life in 2008." We are grateful that Professor Carey was willing to provide this in-depth view of Cardinal Dulles to our readers.
In addition to our usual book review section, we include a symposium of Mark Massa, S.J's The American Catholic Revolution: How the '60s Changed the Church Forever.
As always, we thank our readers for their support, suggestions, and enthusiasm. We could not do it without you! Do enjoy this issue, and have a wonderful summer.
Margaret M. McGuinness, Co-editor