Newberry Seminar of Religion and Culture in the Americas, December 6, 2019

Malachy R. McCarthy's picture
November 15, 2019 to December 9, 2019
Illinois, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Social History / Studies, Urban History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

Religion and Culture in the Americas Seminar

Sponsors:  Albion College; the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame; University of Illinois at Chicago; and Wheaton College.


Nuns in the World:

U.S. Catholic Sisters and Education for Social Justice in the Postwar Decades


Darra Mulderry, Providence College


Friday, December 6, 2019

3 pm to 5 pm / B-84


In the mid-1950s, a national committee of Catholic sisters with Ph.Ds launched a grassroots movement to educate all U.S. sisters in Catholic social teachings. The committee dreamed that the 90,000 sisters who were teaching in U.S. Catholic schools, if better educated, would form a learned army of “sister apostles” well prepared to motivate the laity to strive for economic justice according to a liberal Catholic social vision. In 1956, the committee wrote – and disseminated to all 377 women’s orders - a bachelor’s curriculum for young nuns that highlighted instruction in the social sciences and Catholic ethics. Darra Mulderry will share an excerpt from her book manuscript about the origins of this sisters’ curriculum for social justice, chronicling the curriculum’s impact on U.S. sisters’ pre- and post-Vatican II guiding ideals and ministry.


Respondent:  Kathy Cummings, University of Notre Dame


Newberry Scholarly Seminars papers are pre-circulated electronically. If you plan to attend, contact for a copy. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.