The Journal of Global Catholicism, part of the initiative on Catholics & Cultures, launches a series to introduce new books and engage scholars in discussions of lived Catholicism. In this first installment, held Dec. 14, 2022, Managing Editor Marc Roscoe Loustau discusses his recent book Hungarian Catholic Intellectuals in Contemporary Romania: Reforming Apostles (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) with critics:
- Mary N. Taylor, Assistant Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at CUNY Graduate Center
- Sarah Riccardi-Swartz, Assistant Professor of Religion and Anthropology at Northeastern University, and
- Peter Fritz, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross,
The discussion is moderated by Mathew N. Schmalz, Professor of Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Global Catholicism.
About the book
Set against the backdrop of the rise of right-wing Christian nationalism in Eastern Europe, Hungarian Catholic Intellectuals in Contemporary Romania: Reforming Apostles declares that Catholic theologians ought to be understood and studied as intellectuals: socially and historically situated creators of national cultural traditions. While the Romanian government funds thriving schools for the country's Hungarian minority, NGOs founded by Transylvanian Hungarians continue to organize volunteers to supplement this formal pedagogy. These volunteers understand themselves to be reviving a national tradition of "serving the people" by educating the region's rural Hungarian populace. While this book is about the challenges Catholic educators face in teaching villagers, it is just as much about their new effort to call groups of volunteers from across the border in Hungary to teach alongside them.