About This Issue
Our lead article in this issue is by the distinguished Joseph P. Chinnici, O.F.M., Professor of History at the Franciscan School of Theology, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California. A highly productive scholar, he has brought insight into the history of spirituality, religious practice, and religious life in the United States like no other previous scholar has done. In "Rewriting the Master Narrative: Religious Life and the Study of American Catholicism" he indicates various ways in which the history of religious life could influence and change the standard narrative history of Catholicism in the United States.
Two other distinguished scholars contribute our second and third articles. Angelyn Dries, O.S.F., who holds the Danforth Chair in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University, analyzes the linkage of the financial and spiritual in mission work. She points to three types of mission funding in the twentieth century: the corporate model, exemplified by Francis Clement Kelley and the Catholic Church Extension Society he founded in 1906; the patron or luminary model, exemplified by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen and Richard Cardinal Cushing; and the entrepreneurial model, exemplified by women's mission funding circles. The story of mission credit unions is then told and the intertwining of indigenous economics, mission funding, and the economy of salvation is made manifest with an incisiveness that really rewards the reader.
Michael J. McNally, a priest of the Diocese of Palm Beach, who served as Professor of Church History at Philadelphia's Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary from 1993-2005, offers a perspective on Catholic Reconstruction in Charleston, 1865-1877, through the life of John Moore, the pastor of St. Patrick's Parish. McNally's careful archival research produces a very engaging story of Father Moore and the times.
Our book reviewers have again served us very well, and have contributed to our goal of making American Catholic Studies the primary review journal in the field. In this issue we also introduce a sharing of dissertation abstracts, highly condensed summaries of the most recent research. Please check them out.
Our cover essay is necessary reading to appreciate the uniqueness and significance of the Saint John's Bible Project. A glimpse of the remarkable work of the creators is, with their full cooperation, reproduced on our covers for you through the work of Donna Blaszkowski, the graphic artist who has served American Catholic Studies so well since our first issue under that title. We are grateful for her continuing excellent work.
Rodger Van Allen, Co-editor