English Catholicism reconsidered
Beyond ‘ghettos’ and ‘golden ages’
in Faith in the family
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This chapter provides an overview of the socio-economic status and cultural identity of English Catholics in British society after the Second World War, surveying the existing histories of English Catholicism and their tendency to present a picture of a ‘Catholic ghetto’ or ‘golden age’. It also examines the ways in which English Catholics contemporaneously reacted to the Second Vatican Council, and their assessments of the ‘doings in Rome’ in the early 1960s. In situating this study of English Catholicism within a broader ‘mainstream’ historiography of the post-war period, this chapter triangulates its analysis against important debates amongst twentieth-century historians today about secularisation and religious diversity, fundamental shifts in morality, the erosion of respect for authority and tradition associated with the 1960s, and shifting leisure cultures and social mobility.

Faith in the family

A lived religious history of English Catholicism, 1945–82

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