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Divided Friends: Portraits of the Roman Catholic Modernist Crisis in the United States Paperback – 30 Dec 2013

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£32.50 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Product details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press (30 Dec. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813221641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813221649
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 2.8 cm

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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The struggles of faith in the Modern era-- impressive scholarship, engagingly written 15 Jan. 2014
By Sandra Yocum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
William Portier has poured nearly three decades of meticulous research into a compelling narrative of four Americans, all dedicated priests, who immersed themselves in the turbulent intellectual waters of modern historical criticism of Scripture and suffered under Pius X's condemnation of Modernism. Portier lays bare the poignancy of their personal struggles of faith, hope, and charity --two remained Catholic priests; two did not. Portier's work situates these four personal stories in the 'ebb and flow of theology' as it unfolds at the beginning of the twentieth century. The legacy of these struggles with the effects of modern thoughtways continue to shape present theological debates.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Masterful Treatment of Modernist Controversy in the U.S. 19 Jan. 2014
By Jeffrey L. Morrow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Portier's Divided Friends is a must read for anyone interested in the history of the Roman Catholic Americanist and modernist controversies, and anyone interested in the history of Catholicism in the U.S. In the past scholars have considered the Modernist controversy to be a wholly European affair. Scholars will no longer be able to ignore the impact of the Modernist controversy on Catholicism across the Atlantic in the U.S. Portier's volume marvellously captures "the human complexities" (p. 5) involved in the modernist crisis. He is able to do this because of his tremendous erudition and his thorough archival research. The biographical stories he includes paint vivid portraits of the lives of four priests who struggled with issues concerning faith and reason; two continued to serve as Catholic priests, two left the priesthood and the Catholic faith. By examining their biographies prior to, during, and after the crisis, Portier is able to show the ways in which the modernist crisis was related to the Americanist controversy which preceded it. The many controversies emerging in late nineteenth and earlty twentieth century Catholicism are incredibly complex, involving far more than only theological and philosophical matters, and they include polyvalent political dimensions. In Divided Friends, Portier eschews overly simplistic polemics, and instead offers a thick, nuanced, and rich analysis of the history. Despite the many complexities involved in this story, Portier's prose is lucid and engaging. I would highly recommend this book for use in the classroom, especially in graduate and doctoral seminars, but also in specialized undergraduate courses that relate to the history of Catholicism on U.S. soil, and particularly any courses dealing with the Catholic modernist or Americanist controversies. Divided Friends is essential reading for scholars interested in modernism and Americanism, but would also be of interest for non-specialists. Any educated reader who is interested in the topics covered will find in Divided Friends a book well-worth reading.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Personal, concrete window into Modernism in America 19 Jan. 2014
By Jane Tracy Ellis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Perhaps the most valuable contribution of Portier's well-written text is the manner of approaching the Catholic modernist crisis through the lives of four people who were a part of this important chapter in American Catholicism. Though Portier's text contains excellent and invaluable background on the modernist crisis in its opening chapters, it is these intimate portraits that bring the story to life. Using an array of primary sources, including basically unknown texts such as a novel written by Sullivan, Portier details the differing paths taken by these four in their response to modernism.

Far from biography being tangential to the topic, Portier reveals how indispensable it is in truly understanding the unique American experience of modernism. The modernist crisis was not simply about abstract ideas, but about real people struggling to reconcile the Church and America during this time period - wanting to be faithful to themselves intellectually and to the Church but not always knowing exactly how to accomplish this in a theological world often solely identified with neo-scholasticism. That two left and two stayed in the Church indicates the complexity involved and differing responses to the problems they encountered. Portier's text rightly reclaims the theological conversations of the half-century before Vatican II as crucial for thinking about Catholicism as it has been thought about and lived in the United States.

Divided Friends is biography, history, and theology all in one book. As such, it is a rare accomplishment that deserves the notice of any serious scholar of American history or theology, as well as those interested in intellectual history more generally. Moreover, the text would be greatly beneficial to undergraduate and graduate students struggling to understand the "why" of the Catholic modernist crisis in America and its significance for history and theology today.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A very valable book 3 Jun. 2014
By Bruce - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It told me so much I didn't know about those 4 people & about that fascinating period in Americsn church history.

Bruce Byrolly
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