Conclusion
Hymns ancient and modern
in Faith in the family
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This concluding chapter teases out the tangled and interwoven threads of continuity and change, as well as the contradictory and countervailing trends that have been examined in this study of the spirituality and popular religiosity of Catholics in England from 1945 to 1982. It argues that these aspects of both preservation and innovation were vested in the marked and manifold changes in British society and the Church itself over three decades. Moreover, it identifies the overarching premium now placed on an experiential, self-authenticating and efficacious lived religious practice which might dispense (or sometimes dovetail) with institutional expression and hierarchical, clerical determinations, as once of the key drivers of change. While there was a little-appreciated spectrum of opinion within the Catholic Church on matters doctrinal and moral prior to the Second Vatican Council, the changed cultural setting of late twentieth century Britain allowed for greater public acknowledgment and an expanded repertoire for the articulation of this diversity of opinion and practice, with a reconfiguration of Catholic identity accordingly.

Faith in the family

A lived religious history of English Catholicism, 1945–82

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