Title

Founding father : John J. Wynne, S.J., and the inculturation of American Catholicism in the progressive era

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Theology

Department

Department of Religious Studies

Advisor/Chair

Advisor: William L. Portier

Abstract

The dissertation explores the life and work of John J. Wynne, S.J. (1859-1948). Widely recongized as an editor, educator and historian, Wynne was among the foremost Catholic intellectuals of the early twentieth century. In addition to serving as founding editor of the Catholic Encyclopedia (1907) and the Jesuit periodical America (1909), Wynne was vice-postulator for the canonization causes of the first American saints, the Jesuit Martyrs of North America, and for St. Kateri Tekakwitha. He was also a founding member of a number of important early twentieth century professional organizations, including the American Catholic Historical Association, the National Catholic Education Association, the American Federation of Catholic Societies, and the National Catholic Welfare Council's Bureau of Education. The dissertation explores Wynne's contribution to the American Catholic intellectual tradition. In particular, it explores the ways in which Wynne used the Catholic Encyclopedia and America to negotiate American Catholic identity during the Progressive Era. Using a lens of theological inculturation, the dissertation argues that Wynne presented an alternate version of social reform rooted in a distinctly neo-Scholastic vision of society, a vision that enabled him to champion Catholic participation in American culture, critique the culture for its weaknesses, and successfully avoid the theological controversies of Americanism and Modernism. The dissertation concludes that Wynne's legacy, which was animated by intellectual concerns characteristic of the Society of Jesus, was part of a much broader flowering of early twentieth century American Catholic intellectual thought that made him a key forerunner to the mid-century Catholic Revival.

Keywords

Wynne, John J. (John Joseph), 1859-1948, Catholic Church United States History 20th century, Catholics United States Intellectual life 20th century, United States Church history 20th century, Theology, Wynne, John Joseph, 1859-1948, The Catholic Encyclopedia, America Magazine, Catholic Church - United States - Progressive Era, Catholic Press - United States - History - 20th Century, Catholic Church - United States - History

Rights Statement

Copyright 2014, author

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