Catholic Historical Review

Catholic Historical Review - Centennial Issue 2

Centennial Issue #2

We invite you to preview highlights from the second special Centennial Issue of the Catholic Historical Review. On this page you can browse summaries of articles appearing in the Catholic Historical Review.

Full issue

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Issue highlights:


Catholic Church History: One Hundred Years of the Discipline

John W. O’Malley, S.J.

This article provides a general survey of developments over the past 100 years in the study of the history of the Catholic Church. It therefore provides the context for the other contributions in the issue, which deal with particular epochs or cultures. Included in it, for instance, are listings and

analyses of major instruments of research such as encyclopedias, descriptions of shifts in historical method, assessments of the impact upon historians of events like the First and the Second Vatican Councils, and discussions of the vocation of Catholic historians of the Church.


From Patristics to Late Antiquity at The Catholic Historical Review

Elizabeth A. Clark

Since The Catholic Historical Review, founded to focus on North American Catholic history, has published few articles on early Christianity, this essay focuses mainly on the book reviews published. Since 1915, there have been major shifts in the historiography of late antiquity and late-ancient Christianity. More recent interest in social and cultural history has strongly influenced the creation of new areas of scholarship.


Medieval Studies in The Catholic Historical Review

Giles Constable and Scott G. Bruce

This article examines the character and scope of research on medieval Catholicism published in The Catholic Historical Review. It considers the rate of publication of medieval scholarship in the journal over the past century and classifies these contributions by subject matter and geographical focus. The article also shows how The Catholic Historical Review has widened its scope since the Second Vatican Council to include new approaches to the medieval past. As a result, the journal has emerged as an important venue for historical research in medieval ecclesiastical history


The Early Modern Period in the First 100 Years of The Catholic Historical Review

Robert Bireley, S.J.

This article surveys the CHR’s coverage of early modern Europe, roughly from 1450 to 1700, over the past 100 years. It looks at three main features of the period: the Renaissance understood as a cultural and intellectual movement, the Protestant Reformation, and the Catholic Reform. It concludes that the CHR can be justifiably proud of its treatment of the period. The interpretation of the Renaissance as pagan, as found in Jakob Burckhardt’s classic, gradually yielded to one that

recognized its Christian features. Polemics were generally avoided in the treatment of the Reformation. The life and thought of Martin Luther drew more attention than did any other individual. Events in England generally predominated. The CHR devoted more space to the Catholic Reform than to the Renaissance or the Reformation. Here two issues stood out: the name to be given to the Catholicism of the period, and the degree of continuity between medieval Catholicism in England and the Catholicism that emerged after the arrival of the missionaries in 1580.


From a Catholic Identity to an American View: Historical Studies, Reviews, and Fundamentals in Articles on Late Modern and Contemporary Europe

Alberto Melloni

The CHR has always paid attention to modern European history in its pages. But the meaning of what modern European history entailed varied over its history. At the beginning the journal presented Catholic research on the different origins of American Catholic cultures. In the central decades of the twentieth century, the focus shifted to Europe as a bona fide research subject that had significance for American history. A later tendency offers evidence for the American effort to be a leader and active partner in the main debates about a global historiography.


The Historiography of American Catholicism as Reflected in The Catholic Historical Review, 1915–2015

Philip Gleason

This essay surveys and provides limited commentary on the articles and book reviews dealing with the history of American Catholicism that have appeared in The Catholic Historical Review since it began publication in 1915.


The Catholic Historical Review: One Hundred Years of Scholarship on Catholic Missions in the Early Modern World

R. Po-Chia Hsia

The author analyzes the 125 articles published in The Catholic Historical Review between 1915 and the centennial. The first part contextualizes the individual contributions against landmark scholarship in the field of Catholic missions to colonial Latin America and Ming China. The second part presents statistical analyses of the articles by subfields and decades, showing the preponderance of publications in Latin America (48 percent), North America (30 percent), and Asia (12 percent). It concludes with a succinct comparison of the profile of this journal in the field of missions history against other scholarly venues.


“National and Universal”: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Catholic Missions and World Christianity in The Catholic Historical Review

Angelyn Dries, O.S.F.

The Catholic Historical Review initially focused on Catholic Church history in the United States, but the purpose soon expanded to the “larger domain of church history, both national and universal.” This examination of the journal since its first issue highlights the treatment of mission history and sketches the relationship between missions and world Christianity.

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