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The Shared ParishLatinos, Anglos, and the Future of U.S. Catholicism$
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Brett C. Hoover

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479854394

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479854394.001.0001

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date: 14 December 2017

Theorizing the Shared Parish

Theorizing the Shared Parish

(p.145) 4 Theorizing the Shared Parish
The Shared Parish

Brett C. Hoover

NYU Press

This chapter analyzes the de facto congregationalism that dominates American religious life across religious boundaries. Catholic faith communities tend toward congregationalism due to a complex series of institutional factors in U.S. society: separation of church and state, individual rights, suburbanization, postindustrial capitalism, and the legal organization of religious groups as nonprofit organizations. The elements of congregationalism—voluntarism, a personal sense of ownership, lay leadership, the importance of groups and activities—exist in most American parishes, perhaps more so than in Catholic parishes in other lands. At the same time, congregationalism does not adequately explain certain elements of parish life. U.S. Catholic parishes bring greater cultural heterogeneity. Power and decision making remain mostly centralized. And Roman Catholic identity has a translocal quality.

Keywords:   shared parishes, congregationalism, American Catholic parishes, American religious life, congregationalism

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