Becoming Catholic: Finding Rome in the American Religious Landscape
Description: Conversion has been an essential element of Christianity, and especially of Roman Catholicism, for centuries--from the Apostle Paul's dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus to the spiritual transformations of such prominent modern individuals as Cardinal Newman, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Thomas Merton, and G.K. Chesterton. As David Yamane shows in Becoming Catholic, the business was not only spiritually but literally very large, and growing ever larger: roughly 150,000 Americans join the Catholic Church each year, and more than one in fifty American adults is a Catholic convert. Altogether, these 5.85 million individuals are the fifth-largest religious group in America. In this first significant study of the phenomenon of Roman Catholic conversion in the contemporary United States, Yamane provides an in-depth look at the process of adult initiation in the twenty-first century Catholic Church, including the new process of spiritual formation--called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)--that was ushered in by Vatican II. David is here to discuss it.
David Yamane teaches sociology at Wake Forest University. His primary scholarly interest is the sociology of organized religion, particularly Roman Catholicism in the postwar United States. His publications include The Catholic Church in State Politics: Negotiating Prophetic Demands and Political Realities (2005), Real Stories of Christian Initiation: Lessons for and from the RCIA (2006), and Religion in Sociological Perspective (2011).