Catholicism is generally over-institutionalized and over-centralized in comparison to other religions. However, it finds itself in an increasingly interrelated and globalized world and is therefore immersed in a great plurality of social realities.
The Changing Faces of Catholicism assembles an international cast of contributors to explore the consequent decline of powerful Catholic organisations as well as to address the responses and resistance efforts that specific countries have taken to counteract the secularization crisis in both Europe and the Americas. It reveals some of the strategies of the Catholic Church as a whole, and of the Vatican centre in particular, to address problems of the global era through the dissemination of spiritually progressive writing, World Youth Days, and the transformation of Catholic education to become a forum for intercultural and interreligious dialogue. The volume also reflects on the adaptation of Catholic institutions and missions as sponsored by religious communities and monastic orders.
Settlement Sociology in the Progressive Years claims for sociology a lost history and paradigm only recently acknowledged for shaping the American sociological tradition. Williams and MacLean trace the key works of early scholar activists through the leading settlement houses in Chicago, New York and Boston. The roots of sociology as a public enterprise for social reform are restored to the canon through early research, teaching and social advocacy. The settlement paradigm of “neighborly relations” combining the visions of social gospelers and first-wave feminists will resonate for a renewed public sociology today. Key to this paradigm was the movement to "settle" in neighborhoods and become active in the struggle for social change in a period of rapid industrialization, immigration, and urbanization.