Newberry Seminar of Religion and Culture in the Americas, February 7, 2020

Malachy R. McCarthy's picture
January 10, 2020 to February 10, 2020
Illinois, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Italian History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology

Newberry Library Scholarly Seminars


Religion and Culture in the Americas Seminar


Katherine Moran, St. Louis University


Friday, February 7, 2020

3 pm to 5 pm / B-91


Confessional Crossings: American Protestants, Italian Catholicism, and the Rejection of the anti-Catholic Gothic

In 1876, writer and editor Thomas Bailey Aldrich published an account of his visit to a “Certain Old Gentleman” in Rome: a “gentle … figure” with “the face of a man who had led a temperate, blameless private life.” Aldrich, a Unitarian, was describing Pope Pius IX. This paper examines American Protestant narratives of travel to post-Risorgimento Italy, placing them within the context of U.S. debates about the place of Roman Catholicism in the modern nation state. It argues that Protestant travelers’ newly sympathetic depictions of the pope and monks entailed a rejection and inversion of the anti-Catholic Gothic and revealed how evolving U.S. concerns about social order were bound up with emergent calls for cross-confessional toleration.


RespondentRalph Keen, The University of Illinois at Chicago


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.

Contact Info: 

Mary Hale, Newberry Library