Catholicism in the American West

A Rosary of Hidden Voices

978-1-58544-621-6 Cloth
6 x 9 x 0 in
184 pp. 17 b&w photos.
Pub Date: 12/11/2007


  • Cloth $29.95 s
2009 Paul J. Foik Award, presented by the Texas Catholic Historical Society 2008 Arrington-Prucha Prize for best essay of the year on the history of religion in the American West, presented by the Western History Association
Like the rosary itself, the influence of Catholicism on the social and historical development of the American West has been both visible and hidden: visible in the effects of personal conviction on lives and communities; hidden in that the fuller context of this important American religious group has been largely marginalized or undervalued in traditional historiographic treatments of the region.

This volume, an outgrowth of the 2004 Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lectures, seeks to redress this imbalance. Editors Roberto R. Treviño and Richard Francaviglia have assembled here a variety of scholarly voices to present, according to the preface, “little-known stories about a religion whose traditions and adherents had until recently remained largely at the periphery of U.S. history narratives.” The result is a work that offers at once a fuller portrait of the Catholic experience in and impact on the American West, and also tantalizing glimpses that are highly suggestive of fruitful areas for further study.

The contributors to Catholicism in the American West bring to light the variety, the hardships, and, ultimately, some of the triumphs of Catholicism in the American West. These studies are fine examples of the scholarship currently “reshaping how historians understand the role of Catholicism both in the development of the West and in the broader history of the nation.”

Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lectures, published for the University of Texas at Arlington by Texas A&M University Press

Published by Texas A&M University Press