All Pope, All the Time

Paul Harvey

The New York Times rounds up Pope-in-America coverage here. The Pope will find students at the Catholic University of America to live a Catholicism that's not "in your face." As one student puts it, “It is as religious or as Catholic as you want it to be . . . It’s not really in your face.”

The article nicely fits the "transformation of American religion" thesis outlined by Alan Wolfe in his book of that title. Interestingly, in my class where we used that book, students split evenly on whether they thought Wolfe provided a fair outsider's assessment of the state of American religion, or whether he "patronized" his subjects--with the more religious students seeing the latter (partially because of Wolfe's icy words about content-free and vapid "praise music"and the Prayer of Jabez, compared to which, he says, Prosperity Theology is positively intellectually rigorous and demanding). I'm not sure if anyone else has had any experience going over that book with students; would be interested to hear of it here.