Special Issue "Catholic Bishops in US Politics"
A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2015)
In a brilliant stroke of historical coincidence, the first Catholic bishop in the United States and the first president of the United States were both inaugurated in the same year. Ever since John Carroll and George Washington took their respective offices in 1789, the American Catholic hierarchy has played an enduring, persistent, and complex role in the political life of the United States of America. Over the course of this long history, Catholic bishops have aggressively defended the political, social, and economic interests of an “immigrant church;” confidently applied Catholic teaching to “the signs of the times” through pastoral letters on subjects like nuclear weaponry and economic justice; insisted on the centrality of the “right to life” to all political agendas in all political settings; and, most recently, struggled to credibly navigate the unprecedentedly choppy legal and political waters of the clerical sex abuse scandal. For this Special Issue of Religions, we are soliciting submissions that will individually address specific aspects of the political role of Catholic bishops in the US. However, our expectation is that, taken together, these submissions will also collectively reflect the extraordinary breadth and complexity of the role that Catholic bishops play in the US system of politics and governance. We are also anxious to attract submissions that examine what might be called the politics of the bishops, in addition to examinations of the bishops in politics. The public role of the Catholic hierarchy is articulated and defined by their own statements and actions, of course, and how the bishops interact with voters, office holders, and other political agents. However, the public role of the bishops is also powerfully shaped by intra-church dynamics that define their authority and, at times, set their priorities. For that reason, we also welcome submissions that address matters such as relations between the US bishops and the Holy See, the canonical authority of the national bishops’ conference, and the perennial struggle over the appropriate role of the laity in the leadership and governance of the Catholic Church.
Prof. Dr. Timothy A. Byrnes
Manuscript Submission Information
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Byrnes, Catholic Bishops in American Politics, 1991
Yamane, The Catholic Church in State Politics, 2005
McAndrews, What They Wished For: American Catholics and American Presidents 1960-2004, 2014
- Catholic Church
- United States