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The Transformation of American ReligionThe Story of a Late-Twentieth-Century Awakening$
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Amanda Porterfield

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195131376

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195131371.001.0001

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The Catholicity of American Spirituality

The Catholicity of American Spirituality

(p.58) 2 The Catholicity of American Spirituality
The Transformation of American Religion

Amanda Porterfield (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The blossoming of spirituality in late twentieth‐century America involved the mainstreaming of Catholicism within American culture. It also involved increasingly porous boundaries between American Catholicism and New Age religions. In a society previously dominated by Protestants and Protestant culture, Catholic spirituality moved to the fore as a matrix through which a wide variety of religious developments came to expression. This chapter traces some of the antecedents of this open, liberal form of Catholic spirituality to Transcendentalist interpretations of Catholic spirituality in nineteenth‐century America, and to progressive American Catholic leaders, especially Orestes Brownson and Isaac Hecker, who emphasized the importance of the Holy Spirit for social as well as personal life.

Keywords:   American Catholicism, Catholic spirituality, Holy Spirit, Isaac Hecker, New Age, Orestes Brownson, Protestant culture, Transcendentalist

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