Sociology and sanctity: Paul Hanly Furfey, Franz Mueller, and Luigi Sturzo on Supernatural sociology," a trans-Atlantic debate, 1928-1946 "

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Theology


Department of Religious Studies


Advisor: William L. Portier


This dissertation is thematically organized around the U.S. debate about supernatural sociology" from 1940 through 1946. Formally, it examines how this debate engaged the emerging science of sociology in order to conceive anew the natural-supernatural distinction. And materially, it focuses on the contributions of the debate's three leading lights. These figures included American priest-sociologist Paul Hanly Furfey (1896-1992), German social-scientist Franz Mueller (1900-1994), and Italian priest-social theorist Luigi Sturzo (1871-1959). Of these three figures, this dissertation focuses especially on Luigi Sturzo and two key areas of his life and work. The first is centered on Sturzo's evaluation of the trailblazing "philosophy of the supernatural" of French philosopher Maurice Blondel (1861-1949). And the second is centered on Sturzo's adaptation of Blondel's thought through his own trailblazing "sociology of the supernatural." Finally, this dissertation seeks to show how the U.S. debate about "supernatural sociology" paralleled the 1930s debate about "Christian philosophy" in France. Thus, it seeks to show how, just as the debate about "Christian philosophy" examined the opening of philosophy to the supernatural, so too did the debate about "supernatural sociology" examine the opening of sociology to the same."


Sturzo, Luigi, 1871-1959, Blondel, Maurice, 1861-1949, Furfey, Paul Hanly, 1896-1992, Mueller, Franz H. (Franz Hermann), 1900-1994, Christian sociology Catholic Church History 20th century, Sociology History 20th century, Theology, Sociology, History, Paul Hanly Furfey, Franz Mueller, Luigi Sturzo, Maurice Blondel, Supernatural Sociology

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