The history of Christianity and particularly of Roman Catholicism has been profoundly shaped by conversion for centuries, from the first apostles to such prominent modern converts as John Henry Newman, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, G.K. Chesterton, Thomas Merton, and Graham Greene. Each year, approximately 150,000 Americans convert to Roman Catholicism. Catholic converts collectively are 2.6 percent of the U.S. adult population; together these 5.85 million individuals
would comprise the fifth largest religious body in America, just behind the Mormon Church.
In Becoming Catholic, David A. Yamane offers the first book-length study of Roman Catholic converts in contemporary America. The process of adult initiation in the 21st century Catholic Church looks very different than it did 50 years ago. One of the many revolutionary products of the Second Vatican Council was a revised process of initiation called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). The RCIA process takes individuals on a journey through four distinct periods of formation, with
elaborate ritual transitions that carry individuals from period to period. Drawing on six years of observational fieldwork and interviews with more than 200 people undergoing the conversion process, Yamane follows converts through each stage of the RCIA, shedding light on what it means to choose
Catholicism in contemporary America.
Becoming Catholic offers a window onto the transmission and transformation of the Catholic tradition in a pluralistic and voluntaristic, twenty-first-century society, illuminating a critical aspect of American Catholicism and American religion at the outset of the third millennium.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 472 g
Dimensions: 241 x 162 x 24 mm
Why do people join the Catholic church? How do they enter? Why do they stay? Do they stay at all? David Yamane's excellent new book offers a clear-eyed look at the process of initiation into the Catholic Church in the U.S. and sheds light on what many observers term the most successful of the Second Vatican Council's reforms: the reinvigoration of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Yamane's is the rare book that is superbly researched, well-written,
and, above all, acutely sensitive to the spiritual experiences of those under scrutiny. It deserves to be read by every bishop, priest, brother, sister, and director of religious education in the United States. In fact, it deserves to be read by every American Catholic. * James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage *
this book is well-written and informative. * David Carroll Cochran, Scientific Study of Religion *