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Parish and Place


Making Room for Diversity in the American Catholic Church

Tricia Colleen Bruce

14 September 2017

ISBN: 9780190270322

264 pages

In Stock

Price: £25.49


Parish and Place tells the story of how the largest religion in the US is responding to unprecedented diversity in its membership through the use of "personal parishes," which serve not a given territory, but a defined purpose— a particular language or ethnicity, or a preference for the Latin Mass. Nearly all Catholic dioceses in the US have such parishes, but few know about them. Tricia Bruce offers the first sociological study of personal parishes, based on an original national survey, ethnographic data gathered at 67 personal parishes in fifteen dioceses, and interviews with pastors, diocesan leaders, and bishops.

  • First book to explore the phenomenon of personal parishes
  • Challenges dominant understanding of Catholic congregations
  • Features interviews with top religious leaders

About the Author(s)

Tricia Colleen Bruce, Associate Professor of Sociology, Maryville College

Tricia C. Bruce is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Maryville College whose books include Faithful Revolution and Polarization in the US Catholic Church. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of California Santa Barbara, and has conducted research for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Parish
    Chapter 2: Boundaries
    Chapter 3: Decisions
    Chapter 4: Difference
    Chapter 5: Fragmentation
    Chapter 6: Community
    Appendix A: The Study
    Appendix B: National Survey of Personal Parishes (NSPP)


"Scholars of U.S. Catholicism and sociologists of religion will find it deeply persuasive." - Brett C. Hoover, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion

"The work of Parish and Place opens up a door for important further pastoral and ecclesiological investigation. In these fragmented times, it is genuinely difficult to discern how best to support people and communities across differences while also building inclusive communities. Bruce's study provides valuable information and interpretative frameworks for continuing conversations about how best to deal productively with diversity and fragmentation within the Catholic Church. Readers interested in the promise and problems involved in personal parishes will be provoked to think more deeply and critically about these important issues." - Julia H. Brumbaugh, Reading Religion