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Latino Catholicism:
Transformation in America's Largest Church
Timothy Matovina

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"University of Notre Dame theologian Timothy Matovina's study Latino Catholicism provides a fascinating and comprehensive update of that ongoing revolution--or 'transformation,' as he prefers to call it. And in spite of what the earlier book title might suggest, Matovina sees this transformation going more than one way as he shows 'how the U.S. context, the U.S. Catholic Church, and Latinos mutually transform one another.'. . . He joins a wealth of academic research with the insights and stories of ordinary Latino Catholics while providing his own solid analysis. In bringing all this together in this highly readable book, Matovina has done an invaluable service for today's U.S. Catholic Church, whose future depends on responding better to the many challenges and promises its growing Latino population present. Throughout, Matovina resists facile, one-size-fits-all answers and instead mines the considerable demographic, sociological, and theological research to differentiate, clarify, and pinpoint the most important challenges the church needs to address. This is a must-read for all who have leadership roles in today's Catholic Church and who need to come together, employ greater creativity, and work harder to find the resources to serve the diverse needs of the different generations and subgroups of Hispanic Catholics. Such work will undoubtedly bear much fruit."--U.S. Catholic

"Matovina offers a masterful description of the roughly 40 percent of the American Catholic Church that is now Latino/a. While comprehensive and consistently fair with regard to all the topics discussed, this work also conveys a passion for the flourishing of Latino Catholicism and indeed all of Catholicism in America."--Choice

"Timothy Matovina has produced a sweeping and comprehensive history of United States Latino Catholicism. . . . Latino Catholicism is a must read for scholars in United States religious history, United States Catholicism, and Latino Studies. . . . What Matovina asks us to do in this beautifully written and crafted book . . . is to think about Latino Catholic histories in a new way. . . . I plan to assign Latino Catholicism in the first graduate course on United States Catholicism that I teach at the University of Iowa in the fall, and encourage colleagues in United States Catholic Studies to assign this book and to discuss the important ramifications of integration with their students."--Kristy Nabhan-Warren, American Catholic Studies

"Latino Catholicism is a must for working one's way into an understanding of the faith expression of more than 50 million Hispanic neighbors, as well as a useful tool of evaluating and bettering our own mission dreams."--Douglas R. Groll, Concordia Journal

"Consider Latino Catholicism essential reading on the topic. Matovina weaves the particulars of the Latino Catholic story into the history of Catholicism in North America in entirely new ways--not to mention the relevance of his study to broader discussions of cultural diversity, the 'new immigrant' sociological literature, assimilation dynamics, and theories of secularisation. This is a truly remarkable book."--William D. Dinges, Journal of Contemporary Religion

"In this fine work, M. has succeeded in mapping out a radically new understanding of Latino Catholicism. For those concerned with pastoral work among Latino Catholics, this thoughtful, comprehensive study will serve as a point of reference for a long time to come."--Ana Maria Pineda, Theological Studies

"Latino Catholicism is then an accessible entré into our contemporary circumstance and a graceful challenge for the discernment that ultimately will allow the faith, not simply particular cultures to engage American society."--Thomas W. Jodziewicz, Catholic Southwest

"[T]his volume advances the field of Catholic studies, undermining the notion that Hispanics are appendages to the Catholic faith in this country or simply clients to be served. A reader cannot help but conclude with the author that Latinos are active participants within U.S. Catholicism, bringing new vigor and a vision for the future."--Ana María Díaz-Stevens, Catholic Historical Review

"Matovina has created a significant resource on the Hispanic Catholic presence in the U.S. that will be useful to scholars from every discipline. As a sociologist, I especially appreciate the historical spadework. Throughout, Matovino balances divergent views and experiences from the various Latino and non-Latino perspectives for each of the issues he discusses."--Elfriede Wedam, Catholic Books Review

"Matovina has written an ambitious book that covers conquest to the present."--Valerie M. Mendoza, American Studies


"Finely researched, engagingly written, and more comprehensive than any other book on the subject, Timothy Matovina's Latino Catholicism is a scholarly labor of love that does justice to the historic presence of Latino Catholics in America. Matovina brilliantly chronicles the gradual emergence of Latinos as the critical indicators of Catholicism's future prospects in the United States. His book raises the bar for studies of U.S. religion and society."--Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J., Loyola Marymount University

"Meticulously researched, well-reasoned, and crisply written, this timely synthesis provides cutting-edge analysis of some of the most profound social and cultural developments of our time. In this sweeping history, Matovina provides a clear-eyed scholarly assessment of the ongoing challenges and controversies the church hierarchy faces in its efforts to minister to Latino Catholics. This incisive volume will undoubtedly take its place as the standard source on these crucial topics for years to come."--David G. Gutierrez, University of California, San Diego

"This is a first-rate work of scholarship. Matovina is a theologian, and he pays attention to serious religious questions. But he is also a historian, and a very good one, and he turns the Latino story into a genuinely American story, and that is a terrific achievement."--David J. O'Brien, author of From the Heart of the American Church: Catholic Higher Education and American Culture

"For decades, religious historians have sought ways to integrate the Latino experience into narratives of U.S. Catholicism. In this bold and provocative work, Matovina eschews the integration model in favor of a thoroughgoing reinterpretation of U.S. Catholic history, revealing how--from the sixteenth century to today--Latino Catholicism drove a mutually transformative process that yielded an integrally Latino-inspirited church."--James T. Fisher, author of Communion of Immigrants: A History of Catholics in America

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File created: 4/24/2017

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