Topic: Politics, Law and Government / Politics (General)

American Catholic Pacifism
The Influence of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement
Anne Klejment, Nancy L. oberts, ed.

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Anne Klejment, Nancy L. oberts, ed.

American Catholic Pacifism

The Influence of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement

Anne Klejment, Nancy L. oberts, ed. Anne Klejment, Nancy L. oberts, ed.

November 1996


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Studies the Catholic Worker peace movement, led by Dorothy Day, in the United States.

This collection of mostly original essays by scholars and Catholic Worker activists provides a systematic, analytical study of the emergence and nature of pacifism in the largest single denomination in the United States: Roman Catholicism. The collection underscores the pivotal role of Dorothy Day's Catholic Worker movement in challenging the conventional understanding of just-war principles and the American Catholic Church's identification with uncritical militarism. Also included are a study of Dorothy Day's preconversion pacifism, previously unpublished letters from Dorothy Day to Thomas Merton, Eileen Egan's account of the birth and early years of Pax, the Catholic Worker-inspired peace organization, and in-depth coverage of how the contemporary Plowshares movement emerged from the Catholic Worker movement.
The Catholic Worker in the United States Peace Tradition, by Charles Chatfield
The Radical Origins of Catholic Pacifism: Dorothy Day and the Lyrical Left during World War I, by Anne Klejment
Catholic Peace Organizations and World War II, by Patricia McNeal
Conscription and the Catholic Conscience in World War II, by Patrick G. Coy
Prophecy Faces Tradition: The Pacifist Debate during World War II, by Francis J. Sicius
The Catholic Worker and Peace in the Early Cold War Era, by Mel Piehl
The Leaven, by James W. Douglass
The Correspondence of Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, compiled, introduced and edited by William H. Shannon
The Struggle of the Small Vehicle, Pax, by Eileen Egan
The Catholic Worker and the Vietnam War, by Anne Klejment and Nancy L. Roberts
ANZUS Plowshares: A Nonviolent Campaign, by Ciaron O'Reilly
The Catholic Worker and Peace: Resources in the Marquette University Archives, by Phillip M. Runkel
The editors bring together a wonderful set of essays on a subject often asserted but rarely examined seriously.... First-rate scholars provide new information on neglected aspects of the Catholic peace movement during World War II, the Cold War, and Vietnam. Others assess the significance of the Catholic wing on the wider peace movement. Presentation of the correspondence of Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton is the frosting on a rich cake of historical writing. A superb book for scholars and general readers interested in religion and public life and in the developing conscience of Americans on matters of war and violence.—David J. O'Brien, Loyola Professor of Roman Catholic Studies^LCollege of the Holy Cross

This is crucial reading for all students of social change. My experience as a college teacher is that the educational system in America has worked almost perfectly. The students, with few exceptions, are totally ignorant of the history of dissent in America. This book profoundly illuminates the seminal role played by Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker not only in the Church, but in the broader peace and justice movement.—Marv Davidov, adjunct teacher^LSt. Thomas University and St. Cloud State University^LFounder, The Honeywell Project

A superb collection of articles and letters by distinguished scholars and leading activists. Beginning with World War I and concluding with the nuclear crisis of our own time, it illuminates key events in the history of the Catholic Worker movement, thereby providing important insights into the development of Catholic pacifism and the broader peace movement. All persons concerned with spiritual meaning and human survival will find it of great value.—Lawrence S. Wittner, Professor of History^LState University of New York at Albany