Cover: Prayers of the Faithful: The Shifting Spiritual Life of American Catholics, from Harvard University PressCover: Prayers of the Faithful in HARDCOVER

Prayers of the Faithful

The Shifting Spiritual Life of American Catholics

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Product Details


$27.50 • £22.95 • €25.00

ISBN 9780674049130

Publication Date: 03/31/2010


240 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


Over the course of the past several decades, many Catholics have rejected the strict spiritual hierarchy that was, for centuries, the foundation of the organized church. This dramatic shift in the practice of the Catholic religion has resulted in the evolution of prayer itself into an independent-centered activity incorporated into daily routines rather than a publicly performed and formalized ritual.—Margaret Flanagan, Booklist

McCartin’s book provides a good overview and will appeal to readers interested in contemporary church movements and history.Publishers Weekly

Prayers of the Faithful is the only book that successfully tracks and explains ‘change over time’ in American Catholic self-understanding as expressed through the lens of prayer. It should be read by anyone who wants to understand the American Catholic soul in the twenty-first century.—R. Scott Appleby, Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

McCartin offers an important new perspective on the history of prayer. For American Catholics, as for all religious people, prayers were not idle words sent off into an uncomprehending universe. For them, prayer was action, and it had real effects. They were shapers of their own spiritual destiny.—James M. O’Toole, author of The Faithful: A History of Catholics in America

In James McCartin’s hands, the habits of prayer become a profound way to examine the shifting ecclesial and political currents of American Catholicism since the Civil War. While well aware of the transnational dimensions of his story, McCartin nonetheless offers a particularly insightful meditation on the Americanness of the spiritual life, the insistent tension between hierarchic authority and individual expression.—Leigh E. Schmidt, author of Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality

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