American Catholics constitute, at best, only 7% of Catholics in the world. Most Catholics implicitly assume that Catholic life in the rest of the world looks much like it does in the U.S. Even where we sense it must be different, we've had few resources to access how it is different, and tend to frame our reading of their practice by means of our own categories of political and ecclesial discourse.
This presentation will introduce the audience to worldwide research under the aegis of Catholics & Cultures, an initiative that aims to answer a simple question, "What's it like to be Catholic in different cultures around the world?" The talk will highlight aspects of ordinary, lay Catholic life on several continents, looking at how people celebrate, what the public and private roles of the faith are, and what moral and social problems they see as preeminent.