Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pg. 99: Thomas A. Tweed's "America’s Church"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: America's Church: The National Shrine and Catholic Presence in the Nation's Capitol by Thomas A. Tweed.

About the book, from the publisher:
The National Shrine in Washington, DC has been deeply loved, blithely ignored, and passionately criticized. It has been praised as a "dazzling jewel" and dismissed as a "towering Byzantine beach ball." In this intriguing and inventive book, Thomas Tweed shows that the Shrine is also an illuminating site from which to tell the story of twentieth-century Catholicism. He organizes his narrative around six themes that characterize U.S. Catholicism, and he ties these themes to the Shrine's material culture--to images, artifacts, or devotional spaces. Thus he begins with the Basilica's foundation stone, weaving it into a discussion of "brick and mortar" Catholicism, the drive to build institutions. To highlight the Church's inclination to appeal to women, he looks at fund-raising for the Mary Memorial Altar, and he focuses on the Filipino oratory to Our Lady of Antipolo to illustrate the Church's outreach to immigrants. Throughout, he employs painstaking detective work to shine a light on the many facets of American Catholicism reflected in the shrine.
Learn more about America's Church at the Oxford University Press website.

Thomas A. Tweed is Shive, Lindsay, and Gray Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of six books, including Our Lady of the Exile: Diasporic Religion at a Cuban Catholic Shrine in Miami and Crossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion.

The Page 99 Test: America's Church.

--Marshal Zeringue