Change and Confusion in Catholicism: A Historical Perspective on Today’s Liminal Church
We live in a liminal time. The anthropologist Victor Turner describes liminality as a time of severe disorientation for individuals and societies that lies between one stage of life and another. All the former signposts that provided people with an identity are in a state of upheaval as they transit between these stages. This book uses the lifelong personal and professional experiences of the author to analyse how Catholics experience liminality today and dealt with it yesterday. It provides the reader with an historical case study of frightening experiences, both in teaching what to expect during such a time and what to assume when it ends.
Nathan R. Kollar is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at St. John Fisher College, USA, retired Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School of Education of the University of Rochester, USA, and co-founder and Chair of the Board of the Hickey Centre for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue at Nazareth College, USA. His most recent publications include the book Spiritualities: Past, Present, and Future––An Introduction (2012) and the article “Religions’ Future in the Anthropocene” in Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, Ecology (2019). He is also the editor of Poverty and Wealth in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (2016), and has authored a further 200 book chapters, articles, and reviews.
“Liminality for Kollar is an apt concept/key to unravel the complex history of the Catholic Church, past and present. The research is extensive, and the insights for the future church intriguing.”
Dr Dan Didomizio
Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, Cardinal Stritch University, USA
“Nathan R. Kollar draws on a lifetime of experience, teaching, and scholarship on the Catholic way of life in Change and Confusion in Catholicism: A Historical Perspective on Today’s Liminal Church. His impressive control of church history demonstrates that this way of life has evolved significantly in the past, and that it must now change again. His hope-filled and pastorally sensitive models for development draw on the dedicated study of gifted scholars who, like himself, are inspired by the social encyclicals (1891-2009) and the vision of Vatican II (1962-65). A must read.”
Dr Don C. Benjamin
School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Arizona State University
“A faith-filled pilgrimage of the Roman Catholic church in all of its iterations. I ran, danced, and trudged through this account of the Catholic Way of Life. Acknowledging that we are in a time of chaos and confusion in the church, Nathan Kollar suggests paths through this liminal period and offers sign posts of hope for the future.”
Dr Claire Manes
Author of Out of the Shadow of Leprosy: The Carville Letters and Stories of the Landry Family (2013)
“Nathan Kollar recognizes that the discord currently present among Catholics represent a time of liminality that has occurred before in Catholic Church. In his erudite description of church history, Kollar explains the symbolic features of each era that emerged as presuppositions and practices transformed over time. […] The Catholic Church is still in the midst of a transformation that has yet to stabilize. Just as no one today would recognize the features symbolic of the Jesus movement within Judaism, those of the Constantinian or medieval Church, or the loss of Papal States, Kollar sees Catholicism on its way to a new era, informed by ressourcement and Vatican II that has not yet been refined.”
Dr. Regina A. Boisclair
Professor Emerita of Religious Studies and Cardinal Newman Chair, Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage
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