Histories of the Catholic Church in the United States abound. Most suffer from an excess of either scholarly detachment or popular triumphalism. American Pilgrimage seeks instead to draw on the best of current scholarship to tell the story of the Church as it understands itself: the Body of Christ, divinely ordained yet marred by sin, charged with the mission of spreading the Gospel and building up the community of the faithful.
In scope, American Pilgrimage narrates the story of the Church from the dramatic efforts at evangelization in the colonial period, to the Catholic urban villages of the immigrant Church, to the struggles to reimagine tradition in the late-20th century. In shape, it follows this story through the Augustinian contours of the ongoing struggle between the City of God and the City of Man—a struggle that takes place between the Church and the world, within the Church itself, and within the soul of every Christian.
"Christopher Shannon draws on his own profound learning and deep faith to examine the long and challenging journey of the Church from the days of Columbus and Juan Diego through to our own times."
--Rev. Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C., Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
"Shannon takes seriously the faith of his historical actors, giving faith a credibility and importance not found in other historical studies. His approach results in surprising and inspiring new insights."
--Jeffrey M. Burns, Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture, University of San Diego
"A sweeping and authoritative historical survey of Catholicism in America from Columbus to the present, presented in an accessible style that will appeal to scholars and non-scholars alike."
--Paul Baxa, Professor of History, Ave Maria University
"A powerfully written and comprehensive study of how Catholics have shaped – and been shaped by- American history. If American Pilgrimage gets the wide reading from historians and the public it deserves, American Catholic history and indeed American history as a whole will be greatly enriched."
--Jason K. Duncan, Professor