Click here if you don’t see subscription options
September 10, 2007

American Catholics Todayby William V. D’Antonio, James D. Davidson, Dean R. Hoge and Mary L. Gautier

Rowman & Littlefield 214p, $65 (hardcover ed.), $24.95 (paperback ed.)

The face of the Catholic Church in America has changed--and will likely continue changing--in the wake of Vatican II, historic events, scandals, a new papacy and an increasingly pro-active laity. Based on almost two decades of Gallup surveys (from 1987 to 2005), American Catholics Today has been uniformly hailed as the most definitive study, a most important book, revealing and must-reading. And deservedly so.

About the authors: William DAntonio is a fellow of the Life Cycle Institute, Catholic University of America; James Davidson is professor of theology at Purdue University; Dean Hoge is a fellow of the Life Cycle Institute, C.U.A.; and Mary Gautier is senior research associate and research associate professor at CARA, Georgetown University.

Their study explores the views of the Catholic laity on a range of important questions, suggesting that an increasing number of Catholics-while not abandoning their faith-are making their own decisions regarding faith practice. Disaffection with church leadership and the institutional church are the forces propelling them. Among the subject areas covered are Catholic identity, trends and variations regarding the sacraments, authority, and religion and politics. The data, views and comments expressed will find much resonance among readers just as they will challenge pastoral leaders.

In his review essay in the August 13-20 issue of America, Andrew M. Greeley writes in part: "The Catholic respondents knew in each of these studies what is absolutely essential in their religion--Jesus risen, the poor, Mary and the sacraments. After a couple of thousand years of turbulent history, they still get it spot on The faithful are convinced of what is totally important. [The] key stories and symbols are enormous and indeed invincible resources for the churchs work of evangelization, and they are there for the taking, if only we can realize that religion starts with image and story and not theological dicta and rules."

We recommend American Catholics Today to anyone who wants to know what Catholics are really thinking!

The latest from america

Katy Carl’s debut collection of short stories examines how people manage change in their lives—whether they have actively sought what comes next or had it forced upon them.
Mary Grace ManganoSeptember 20, 2023
Sucked into the belly of an 80-foot sperm whale, scuba diver Jay Gardiner reconciles the loss of his father and challenges the power of the creatures of the sea in Daniel Kraus’s novel 'Whalefall.’
Christine LenahanSeptember 14, 2023
Daniel Hornsby’s new page-turning novel 'Sucker' is consistently funny, a sobering screengrab of our wealth- and power-obsessed nation.
Jude Joseph LovellSeptember 14, 2023
In his debut book, 'The People’s Hospital: Hope and Peril in American Medicine,' Ricardo Nuila presents the conflict between the profit motive of health care and the art of medicine by describing the hospitals that work for people and the hospitals that do not.
Abraham M. NussbaumSeptember 14, 2023