The Fields divisions on this site are intended to be helpful categories to differentiate various types of significance held by events, places, and people in the course of American history. They derive from major divisions within the modern academic historical profession. Both the construction of such categories as well as the placement of individual data in them ultimately depend on an individual historian's judgment and therefore have a somewhat arbitrary character.
For those unfamiliar with the fields, the schema below may be helpful.
Religious: Primary significance is for the Church as an ecclesial body. Significance might have to do with spirituality, church governance, mission activity, popular devotion, or theology.
Political: Primary significance is for the interaction of the Church and/or Catholics with the political sphere. Significance might have to do with electoral politics, including grassroots organizing, governmental officeholding, or public policy generation, advocacy, or implementation. Wars and military affairs are usually included in this category.
Social: Primary significance is for the social life of Catholics. Significance might have to do with race relations, charity, work, business, labor organization, urban or rural life, or sexuality and family life. Popular music and literature are included in this category.
Intellectual: Primary significance is for Catholics' interaction with the intellectual life of the nation. Intellectual life refers to the "world of ideas"—those academics and other writers and thinkers who communicate via books, academic periodicals, and journals of opinion. Art, architecture, literature, and music are usually included in this category.