The Catholic University of America

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Conference: Catholic Activism in the Americas, 1891–1962: New Comparative and Transnational Approaches


Thursday, Oct. 17, 2 to 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 18, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave. N.E.
Washington, D.C.
The 1891 papal encyclical Rerum Novarum prompted profound changes to Catholic activism in Latin America. In its wake, growing numbers of lay Catholic activists took part in social, civic, and political activism in the public sphere. Labor associations, Catholic women, and young activists in the United States and Latin America rallied to action in defense of their religious values, which many felt were under attack from secular governments, interest groups, and other religious denominations. These Catholics not only mobilized for defensive ends, but also endeavored to provide positive programs for social empowerment and enfranchisement of marginalized individuals.
Five panels will discuss the historical evidence for Catholicism’s integral role in promoting a robust public sphere throughout the Americas, even before the general liberalization of the Catholic Church during the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965).
A conference schedule can be found at
Attendance is free of charge, but attendees are asked to register at
For more information or for disability accommodations, contact Julia Young, assistant professor of history, at or 202-319-5484.
SPONSOR: School of Arts and Sciences


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