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College of the Holy Cross Launches E-Journal on Global Catholicism

Scholarly publication builds on Catholics & Cultures initiative
Release Date: 
September 13, 2016

The College of the Holy Cross, in collaboration with Catholic studies scholars around the globe, announces the launch of the Journal of Global Catholicism.

The international, peer-reviewed, electronic journal fosters understanding of contemporary Catholicism as it is lived and practiced in particular countries and cultural contexts around the world, paying particular attention to its significance for theoretical approaches within and across multiple academic disciplines. The Journal of Global Catholicism expands the work of Catholics & Cultures, a strategic initiative and globally accessible web resource introduced by the College in 2015.

The premier issue of the Journal focuses on various expressions of Catholicism in India, where religion is extremely pluralistic and vividly displayed. Featuring articles and essays by scholars from both American and Indian institutions, the issue considers topics such as the challenges of inculturation; the blending of Hindu and Catholic worship at shrines; Indian Christians' connections to an indigenous environmentalism; ritual and tradition in the Syro-Malabar Church, an Eastern Catholic church that represents a quarter of all Catholics in India; and Catholic life among the Dalit community, who belong to the lowest castes in Indian society.

“The Catholics & Cultures website (catholicsandcultures.org) widens our lens on the rich diversity of Catholic practice and belief, as it shapes and is shaped by the culture in which it is lived. Relying on observation, interviews, photos, videos and data, the website describes the Catholic experience as it is perceived by the actors in feasts and religious activities in various cultures,” said Thomas M. Landy, founder of Catholics & Cultures and director of the College’s Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture. “The journal provides a venue for scholars to focus on the same diversity of Catholic practice from a greater variety of theoretical lenses, or with more historical depth, or using other forms of cross-cultural analysis and ritual study." 

Mathew N. Schmalz, associate professor of religious studies at Holy Cross, is the journal’s editor-in-chief. His research and teaching includes global Catholicism, South Asian studies, and modern religious movements. He writes regularly for the blogs On Faith, Crux and the Huffington Post and is author of Mercy Matters: Opening Yourself to the Life Changing Gift (OSV, 2016).

“Global Catholicism, particularly with its focus on lived Catholicism, is a new field where not a great amount of scholarly research exists. My hope is that the work of this journal, and of the Catholics & Cultures website, will inspire more scholars and educators to look at what it means to be Catholic in different places and cultures around the world and how that shapes our understanding of the global Church,” Schmalz said.

The Journal of Global Catholicism will be published twice yearly at www.catholicsandcultures.org/journal. Journal editors welcome feedback and submission ideas.