Master Class on "Catholicism and Upheaval Between the World Wars"

Feb 10, 2023
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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John McGreevyNotre Dame


Open to current students and faculty. Others interested in participating should contact All registrants will receive pdfs of the selected readings, which should be read in advance of the class. The first 20 registrants will receive a free copy of Catholicism: A Global History from the French Revolution to Pope Francis. 

This Master Class will use a mix of primary and secondary sources to examine global Catholicism in the thirty years preceding the opening of the Second Vatican Council in 1962. Themes include the political crisis of the 1930s and the turn toward democracy,  Catholicism and post WWII decolonization and the "return to the sources" that so shaped the Second Vatican Council.



Required: John T. McGreevy, Catholicism: A Global History from the French Revolution to Pope Francis, (Norton, 2022), ix-xiv, 187-271.



Samuel Moyn, Christian Human Rights, (UPenn Press, 2015), 65-100.

Elizabeth Foster, “’Entirely Christian and Entirely African’: Catholic African Students in France in the Era of Independence,” Journal of African History 56 (2015), 239-59.

“In the Face of the World’s Crisis: A Manifesto by European Catholics Sojourning in America,” Commonweal (August 21, 1942), 415-421.

James Chappel, "The Catholic Origins of Totalitarianism Theory in Interwar Europe," Modern Intellectual History 8 (2011), 561-590.



2:00-3:20 | Session 1

3:20-3:40 | Break

3:40-5:00 | Session 2

5:00-5:30 | Reception

John McGreevy is the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History and Charles and Jill Fischer Provost at the University of Notre Dame. He was formerly the dean of Notre Dame's College of Arts & Letters. He is the author of four books, including Parish Boundaries: The Catholic Encounter with Race in the Twentieth Century Urban North, Catholicism and American Freedom: A History, and American Jesuits and the World: How an Embattled Religious Order Made Catholicism Global. His fourth book, Catholicism: A Global History from the French Revolution to Pope Francis, will be published by W.W. Norton in fall 2022. His essays have been translated into Italian, French and Spanish. He has received major fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Louisville Institute, and the Erasmus Institute, and has published articles and reviews in the Journal of American HistoryNew York Review of BooksThe Chronicle of Higher Education, Commonweal, The New RepublicChicago Tribune and other venues. He served on the Pulitzer prize jury for History in 2010 and since 2018 has been the co-chair of the Commonweal Foundation board.