Concluding reflections
in Catholic literature and secularisation in France and England, 1880–1914
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This chapter sheds light on the paradox of French Catholic literary resistance to secularisation in the period 1880–1914, and on its coincidental parallels among English Catholic writers of the same period. The chapter explores individual secularisation and draws on Charles Taylor's analysis of the immanent frame in which the ‘closed’ or buffered individual treats knowledge as a mind-centred process, meaning as a mind-originated product, and purpose and choice as autonomous or self-directed pursuits. The tendency of Catholic writers to draw on this anti-Enlightenment tradition is even more acute in political matters. Their understanding and portrayal of the Church's capacity to gather its members in a hierarchical fashion correlate strongly with their search for a renewed religious porosity or shared meaning and purpose.


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