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(893 words)

Americanism in the context of theology and Church history has two senses, akin but not identical: one dogmatic and one historical.

1. In the dogmatic sense, Americanism is a theoretical system that was outlined and condemned by Pope Leo XIII in his letter Testem Benevolentiae, addressed to James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (U. S. A.), on 22 January 1899 (Acta Sanctae Sedis 31 [1898–99], cols. 470–9; cf. D 1967–1976). Americanism is a doctrine on the relations between Catholicism and its cultural environment. Briefly, the Apostolic Letter summarizes…

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Gustave Weigel, “Americanism”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 02 March 2024 <>
First published online: 2016

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