By Aine Doyle
This week, the College of the Holy Cross launched its first edition of the Journal of Global Catholicism. The new electronic journal, or e-journal, is an extension of the Catholics & Cultures website initiative that was launched in 2015, and is published by the College.
The Journal of Global Catholicism primarily seeks to explore how modern-day Catholicism is practiced in different cultures and countries from a wide array of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, theology, digital media, psychology, history, and philosophy. It is the first of its kind to approach Catholic Studies from a multidisciplinary and global perspective. According to the editors, the journal is “dedicated to fostering the understanding of diverse forms of lived Catholicism with attention to their significance for theoretical approaches within and across multiple academic disciplines.”
The premier issue of the journal focuses on the practice of Catholicism in India and consists of articles and essays written by both American and Indian scholars. Titled “Indian Catholicism: Interventions and Imaginings,” this edition highlights the unique characteristics of practiced Catholicism in India, such as the combination of Hindu and Christian practice at shrines, inculturation, and ties to environmentalism, among others that are distinct to India.
The goal of the journal, which will be published biannually, is to inspire more research in non-western practiced Catholicism. Published articles and essays will discuss topics such as gender and sexuality, race, types of secularity related to lived Catholicism, devotion to specific Catholic figures, as well as several other subjects. It is meant to appeal to scholars in a wide range of fields, including anthropology, history and sociology, in which religion is incorporated in study and research.
The Journal of Global Catholicism expands on the efforts of Catholics & Cultures, a website launched by the College last year that serves as a global resource on comparative Catholicism. The website is globally accessible and consists of a wide range of research articles, photographs, videos, maps, graphics, interviews, and bibliographies to provide insight into the diverse ways Catholicism is lived and practiced around the world.
“The Journal of Global Catholicism gives us a different, complementary opportunity to advance this conversation, and to develop outstanding scholarly resources. It is an opportunity to think in greater depth than is allowed on the website,” explained Thomas M. Landy, director of the College’s Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religions, Ethics and Cultures. He, together with Mathew N. Schmalz, associate professor of religious studies, founded Catholics & Cultures and The Journal of Global Catholicism.
Since its launch in February 2015, the Catholics & Cultures website has been successful—with resources on 20 countries, the website has over 200,000 page views and its YouTube videos have over 55,000 views. The website is also continuing to grow with coming resources on 4 additional countries. The new electronic Journal of Global Catholicism is expected to have similar success; the first issue has already been downloaded over 100 times globally.
The second issue of the Journal will expand upon the topics of the Catholics & Cultures conference that was held in the Philippines last January and will be published in 2017.