Dr. Michele Dillon of the University of New Hampshire had her Postsecular Catholicism: Relevance and Renewal come out earlier this year. I was invited to critique this at the Association for the Sociology of religion in Philadelphia this August and found it was a brilliant read. I cannot say enough good things about the book and recommend it for anyone asking serious questions about Catholicism’s impact on American society. Especially pertinent now is her chapter on the Synod on the Family; the issues she raises–particularly gender–are gaining attention at the current synod on young people, faith and vocational discernment.
I also reviewed it for America. An excerpt reads, “Dillon’s familiarity with both a postsecular landscape and her fluency in Catholic concerns and interests allow her to cogently illustrate the overlap between Catholicism and the broader social world as well as the tensions that are inherent to a postsecular Catholicism.” We’ll be reading it in my Ministering to American Catholics course later this semester; I can’t wait to hear the great discussion it will generate!