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Faculty Research Working Paper Series
Mary Jo Bane
Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Management, Emerita
phone: (617)496-9703
The Catholic Puzzle: Parishes and Civic Life.
Bane, Mary Jo. "The Catholic Puzzle: Parishes and Civic Life." KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP05-036, May 2005.
This paper is one of a number of case studies prepared for an interdisciplinary seminar on religion in American civic life which examined the roles and functions of religion in congregations and communities. “The Catholic Puzzle” is the apparent discrepancy between the Catholic church’s official social teachings and what actually goes on in Catholic parishes and the everyday lives of Catholics. This paper combines theology and social science to examine the question of why Catholics seem to be less involved than members of other religions in volunteer and civic life.



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