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New Women of the Old FaithGender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era$
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Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832493

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807889848_cummings

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(p.1) Introduction
New Women of the Old Faith

Kathleen Sprows Cummings

University of North Carolina Press

This book begins with Right Reverend Patrick Ludden's thoughts on the study of the past. “Too often,” Ludden observed, “it is his story, not history.” At the time, the bishop was exhorting historians to maintain absolute objectivity, to refuse to allow their “ontological training, religious prejudices, social environment or political predilections” to influence their interpretation of past lives and events. This advice may appear quaintly naive in a postmodern age, but the admonition of this nineteenth-century prelate still rings true in another context: historians of U.S. Catholicism continue to write “his” story, overlooking women as historical actors.

Keywords:   Patrick Ludden, his story, historians, absolute objectivity, postmodern age, U.S. Catholicism, women, historical actors

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