Bright Promise, Failed Community

JOSEPH VARACALLI

No one has defined as clearly as Varacalli, precisely why the American Church has been relatively ineffective in shaping American public life. The "bright promise" of Catholic America lies in the long and still developing tradition of social Catholicism.

Bright Promise, Failed Community: Catholics and the American Public Order is an important new book by Joseph Varacalli, co-founder of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists and member of the Advisory Board to the Catholic Educator’s Resource Center.

“I am genuinely impressed with the important matters (Varacalli) considers, critically important I would say for the Church and the American polity,” writes reviewer Walter Nicgorski in The Review of Politics.

In Bright Promise, Failed Community respected Catholic sociologist Joseph Varacalli describes how and why Catholic America has essentially failed to shape the American Republic in any significant way. American society has never experienced a “Catholic moment” –the closest it came was during the immediate post-World War II era—nor is it now close to approximating one. Varacalli identifies as the cause of the current situation the “failed community” of Catholic America which has failed to adequately communicate the social doctrine of the Church to Catholic Americans or to the key idea-generating sectors of American life.

The “bright promise” of Catholic America lies in the long and still developing tradition of social Catholicism. With a revitalize, orthodox, sophisticated community to serve as the carrier of Catholic social doctrine, Varacalli sees trends of thought that would propose viable alternatives to philosophies and ideologies that currently dominate the American public sphere—ones that would thus have a formidable impact on American society.

Bright Promise, Failed Community: Catholics and the American Public Order
ISBN 0-7391-0086-6 published by
Lexington Books
4720 Boston Way,
Lanham, Maryland 20706,
1-800-462-6420.


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