Catholic religiosity and the charismatic Church
in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
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Cavanaugh's analysis of the secular State indicates the role individualism played in the genesis of contractual political theories. The gathering into the Church envisaged by many French and English Catholic authors sometimes adopts supernatural or enchanted dimensions, especially through their depiction of prophecy, the miraculous and the mysterious sharing of grace between members of the Church. This chapter discusses the themes as they appear in the works of French and English Catholic writers. It encounters their view of the Church as an institution whose very dynamics illustrate their belief in the divine agency continually at work in the material cosmos. Miracles and prophecy, the fruit of some special gift or intervention of God, help enact the Church not hierarchically but charismatically. Vicarious suffering and sainthood provide an ecclesial context for those gifts and, at the same time, portrays most dramatically the unity that can be achieved between individuals.

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