Why does the Catholic Church take a politically conservative stance on some issues, such as abortion and birth control, while on others, such as social programs and nuclear policy, it resembles the left? Why do some Catholic groups reject the legitimacy of Church hierarchy and yet choose to remain within its fold? To explain these apparent contradictions, Gene Burns examines the origins of contemporary diversity and conflict in the Catholic Church as well as the processes of ideological change.
With valuable insights into the American Catholic Church, the modern papacy, and the Latin American Church, The Frontiers of Catholicism is as much a political study of ideological dynamics as it is an institutional study of religious change.
Gene Burns is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Princeton University.