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Center for Research on Global Catholicism Book Symposium

Friday, 21 April, 2023

John McGreevy (University of Notre Dame) will discuss his new book Catholicism: a Global History from the French Revolution to Pope Francis (W.W. Norton, 2022). “A magisterial history of the centuries-long conflict between ‘progress’ and ‘tradition’ in the world’s largest international institution,” Catholicism: a Global History “chronicles the dramatic upheavals and internal divisions shaping the most multicultural, multilingual, and global institution in the world.

Through powerful individual stories and sweeping birds-eye views, [McGreevy’s book] provides a mesmerizing assessment of the Church’s complex role in modern history: both shaper and follower of the politics of nation states, both conservator of hierarchies and evangelizer of egalitarianism. McGreevy documents the hopes and ambitions of European missionaries building churches and schools in all corners of the world, African Catholics fighting for political (and religions) independence, Latin American Catholics attracted to a theology of liberation, and Politsh and South Korean Catholics demanding democratic governments...Throughout this essential volume, McGreevy details currents of reform within the Church as well as movements protective of traditional customs and beliefs...

Finally, McGreevy addresses challenges faced by Pope Francis as he struggles to unite the over one billion members of the world’s largest religious community.” Formal responses to McGreevy’s book will be delivered by Elizabeth Foster (Tufts University) and SLU's own Hal Parker.

The Center for Research on Global Catholicism (CRGC) at Saint Louis University supports scholarship at the nexus of Catholicism and culture, providing robust programming that promotes interdisciplinary research, collaboration, and methodological innovation. The objectives of the CRGC include advancing knowledge and understanding of global Catholicism and supporting scholars and archives working in the field of global Catholicism by providing resources, community, and opportunities for collaboration. The CRGC is the first Humanities Big Idea project sponsored by the Research Growth Fund at SLU. It brings together three key components of SLU’s Jesuit history and mission: a legacy of global engagement, a commitment to rigorous academic inquiry, and a focus on social justice. For more information, contact CRGC director, Mary Dunn, Ph.D., at