- Assistant Professor
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Making of the Communist Enemy: The Catholic Church and the Ideological Origins of the Cold War, 1929-1949
Between 1929 and 1949, the Catholic Church led an international campaign against communism on both sides of the Atlantic. From the pulpit and the printed page, Catholic leaders exposed how communism threatened religious faith and urged laypeople and politicians to turn against the atheistic Soviet Union. Scholars have neglected the influence of the Catholic Church in setting the terms for anticommunism as an ideology and a movement. By drawing upon a wealth of new archival sources—consulted in sites as diverse as the Secret Vatican Archive, the Italian and French state and foreign ministry archives, and the FDR Presidential Library—this dissertation reveals the unexplored connection between domestic anticommunism and the Vatican's diplomacy. Using oral history and textual analysis, it shows how a transnational network of Church officials and laypeople helped construct the communist enemy that would populate the Western political imagination for decades to come.
The Vatican, Catholic Internationalism, and the Battle for Europe, 1918-1958
Drawing on new archival research conducted in eight countries and in seven different languages, this project uncovers the Vatican’s ambitious attempt to shape the European international order after the first and second world wars, via the novel use of international law, public diplomacy, and new media. Through attention to the entanglements of religion and politics, it argues that between 1918 and 1958, the central government of the Roman Catholic Church successfully combatted what it perceived as its two leading threats: liberal and communist internationalism. The Vatican did so by developing a new mode of legal and cultural diplomacy, which the project calls Catholic internationalism.