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Sense of the Faithful: How American Catholics Live Their Faith
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Sense of the Faithful: How American Catholics Live Their Faith (Paperback)

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The image of the "cafeteria Catholic"-one who blithely picks and chooses those doctrines that suit him-is a staple of American culture. But are American Catholics really so nonchalant about how they integrate the ancient devotional practices of Catholicism with the everyday struggles of the modern world?

For Sense of the Faithful, Jerome Baggett conducted 300 intensive interviews with members of six parishes to explore all aspects of this question. The book is an act of listening that allows ordinary Catholics to speak for themselves about how they understand their faith and how they draw upon it to find purpose in their lives.

Many American Catholics, Baggett shows, do indeed have an uneasy relationship with the official teachings of the Church and struggle to live faithfully amidst the challenges of the modern world. But Baggett finds that it is a genuine struggle, one that reveals a dynamic and self-aware relationship to the Church's teachings. Moving beyond the simplistic categories of national surveys and the politically motivated pronouncements of pundits, Sense of the Faithful ultimately paints a more

complex - and more accurate - portrait of what it is like to be Catholic in America today.

''Jerome Baggett is now required reading for all of us seeking to understand the contemporary situation of the Catholic community in the United States...Go out and buy this book.'' -American Catholic Studies

''Important and insightful...Sense of the Faithful is an innovative and probing work. Consider this a must read for those following the 'messiness' of post-Vatican II 'lived' Catholicism, and for scholars probing the complexities of America's ever-zany free market religious economy.'' -Sociology of Religion

''A marvelous example of how participant-observer sociology can shed light on the life of the church beneath the public face of the Catholic Church. What makes this book so enlightening is not so much the comparative statistics, interesting as they are, as the inclusion of personal stories that put some flesh on the bones of the bare data. When Baggett lets us eavesdrop on real conversations, the complexity of how we Catholics construct our faith identities is quite apparent and quite

fascinating.'' -America

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesReligion & BeliefsChristianityChristian Churches & denominationsReligion & BeliefsReligion: generalReligious issues & debates Publisher: Oxford University Press Publication Date: 16/06/2011 ISBN-13: 9780199826087  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Professor of Religion and Society at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley.

More books by Jerome P. Baggett

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