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Voice of Empathy

A History of Franciscan Media in the United States

Where do we find religion? In places of worship? For many, it can be found in the activities of daily life, from shopping for groceries and making dinner to falling in love and raising children. How do historians write this history? How do they record the significance of religious culture expressed through the mundane and the extraordinary—from letters to magazines to praying for miracles at shrines? This study offers more than a century's worth of religion lived through media, particularly Franciscan media.

From the late nineteenth century through the present, Franciscan media have offered Catholics in the United States ways to reflect on and react to the issues of daily life: family, sex, children, obedience to church doctrine (from dietary requirements to treatment of divorced Catholics), communism, and even the moral dimensions of popular culture, especially movies. Interaction through media helped shape Catholic identity, revealing the difficulty of living as a Catholic in modern America. Franciscans wrote for magazines, produced radio shows, developed film projects, and understood that to reach people, they needed to appeal to the heart as well as to the head—to speak to the emotion of living one's Catholicism as well as thinking about what Catholicism means. Voice of Empathy uses a spectrum of sources, from letters to priests in print magazines such as St. Anthony Messenger to scripts for shows such as The Hour of St. Francis to the multi-platform work of Mother Angelica and Father Richard Rohr, to highlight the fluid engagement between faith and the secular world. The social, economic, political, and cultural developments that gave shape to Franciscan media also became the context in which Franciscans forged particular approaches to their pastoral ministry. Of particular note, Voice of Empathy deals extensively with the central role women have played in Franciscan media as consumers, producers, and shapers of lived Catholicism.

9780883822654 : voice-of-empathy-haberski
Paperback / softback
300 Pages
$25.00 USD
9780883822661 : voice-of-empathy-haberski
Hardback
300 Pages
$40.00 USD

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