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Sex, Catholicism and women in post-war England
Author: David Geiringer

On 25 July 1968, Pope Paul VI shook the world. His encyclical letter Humanae Vitae rejected widespread calls to permit use of the contraceptive pill and deemed artificial contraception ‘intrinsically evil’. The Catholic Church is now commonly identified as the antagonist in a story of sixties sexual revolution – a stubborn stone resisting the stream of sex-positive modernity. There has been little consideration of how Catholic women themselves experienced this period of cultural upheaval. This book is about the sexual and religious lives of Catholic women in post-war England. It uses original oral history material to uncover the way Catholic women negotiated spiritual and sexual demands at a moment when the two increasingly seemed at odds with one another. The book also examines the public pronouncements and secretive internal documents of the central Catholic Church, offering a ground-breaking new explanation of the Pope’s decision to prohibit the pill. The materials gathered here provide a fresh perspective on the idea that ‘sex killed God’, reframing dominant approaches to the histories of sex, religion and modernity. The memories of Catholic women help us understand why religious belief does not structure the lives of most English men and women today in the way it did at the close of the Second World War, why sex holds a place of such significance in our modern culture, and crucially, how these two developments related to one another. The book will be essential reading for not only scholars of sexuality, religion, gender and oral history, but anyone interested in post-war social change.

Niall Coll

Irish identity and the future of Catholicism 22 Irish identity and the future of Catholicism Niall Coll It is a truism to say that the Catholic Church came to dominate both the public identity and the personal values of the great majority of the Irish people from the middle of the nineteenth century until recent times. Now, in the wake of the gradual rise of urban, secular Anglo-American cultural norms on the one hand and the clerical abuse crisis on the other, that dominance has been shattered.1 Dermot Keogh has written that the Catholic Church in Ireland now

in Irish Catholic identities
John Anderson

in both doctrine and practice within the Roman Catholic Church, changes in the policies of important external actors, and what he calls ‘snowballing’ as one regime after another tumbled from the late 1970s onwards. 1 For our purposes it is his use of the religious argument that is most interesting, and in particular the focus upon change within one particular religious tradition. The first stage of his argument here is simply to observe the strong correlation between Western Christianity and democracy and to note that of 46 democracies

in Christianity and democratisation
Lindsay J. Proudfoot and Dianne P. Hall

religion in the eyes of contemporary (and later) observers, which in turn had profound consequences for religious discourse in the country. During the latter part of the nineteenth century and beyond, Australia’s main Christian denominations were assumed to be broadly synonymous with different ethno-national elements in the British and Irish migration stream. The Catholic Church had St Patrick’s Day

in Imperial spaces
Catholicism, gender and ethnicity in nineteenth-century Scotland
Author: S. Karly Kehoe

This book examines the changing nature of Catholicism in modern Scotland by placing a significant emphasis on women religious. It highlights the defining role they played in the transformation and modernisation of the Catholic Church as it struggled to cope with unprecedented levels of Irish migration. The institutions and care-networks that these women established represented a new age in social welfare that served to connect the church with Scotland's emerging civil society. The book examines how the church reacted to liberalism, legislative reform, the rise of evangelicalism and the continued growth of Irish migration between the late 1820s and the late 1850s. A mutual aversion to the Irish and a loyalty to nation and state inspired a recusant and ultramontane laity to invest heavily in a programme of church transformation and development. The recruitment of the Ursulines of Jesus, the first community of nuns to return to Scotland since the Reformation, is highlighted as a significant step towards legitimising Catholic respectability. The book focuses on the recruitment and influence of women religious. It also focuses on the issue of identity by considering how gender and ethnicity influenced the development of these religious communities and how this was connected with the broader campaign to transform Catholic culture in Scotland. The book also examines the development of Catholic education in Scotland between the late 1840s and 1900 and prioritises the role played by women religious in this process.

The Catholic Church in Salford and refugees
Bill Williams

10 ‘Not because they are Jews’: the Catholic Church in Salford and refugees [The Quakers have] done golden deeds for the refugees here and the helpless victims of totalitarian brutality abroad … But why, in heaven’s name, do we time and again find these services of elementary good fellowship left only to the Quakers? Do no other religions feel any obligations …? Or are they all so sanctimonious that they can’t do a good turn without wanting to stuff a hymn or sermon down the recipient’s throat in return? From an article on the Manchester Quakers in the Manchester

in ‘Jews and other foreigners’
Abstract only
Michael G. Cronin

. This abuse did not represent a failure of the system but was endemic to it; as Ryan observes, ‘abuse occurred in the Institutions’ and ‘the Institutions in themselves were abusive’.3 Likewise, the three reports on the failure of the Catholic Church to adequately confront the sexual abuse of children by some of its priests, along with the testimony of their victims, have thoroughly discredited the Irish Catholic Church as an authority on human sexuality.4 Throughout the twentieth century, as Ursula Barry and Clair Wills note, ‘the Catholic Church in Ireland played a

in Impure thoughts
Abstract only
John Anderson

the right to criticise majority representatives where they promoted values opposed to the teachings of the Church or, the more cynical might suggest, where they challenged the Church’s institutional interests. Nonetheless, and despite exceptions such as Argentina, there can be little doubt that during the ‘third wave’ the Catholic Church did become an institution that tended to support those arguing for an end to the abuse of human rights and the bringing down of authoritarian regimes. With the partial exception of Greece, in those

in Christianity and democratisation
The fraught relationship between women and the Catholic Church in Ireland
Sharon Tighe-Mooney

  192 12 Irreconcilable differences? The fraught relationship between women and the Catholic Church in Ireland Sharon Tighe-​Mooney Introduction In the introduction to From Prosperity to Austerity, Eamon Maher and Eugene O’Brien write, in the context of attempts to voice caution during the Irish boom, that the consensus between government, the media and business interests held ‘that anyone who opposed the current ideology was against progress, was rooted in the past, or was incapable of seeing the benefits to all of our exceptional prosperity’ (2014: 5). The

in Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism
Abstract only
Sonja Tiernan

imagined. They were clever enough not to ask people to vote yes or no because they would have had to register [as a campaign organisation], but they asked people to consider their vote carefully. They are brilliant media manipulators, and they released it so it would get on the 6 p.m. news on a Saturday evening so would dominate the airwaves for the next few days.’13 The response to the Catholic Church needed to be carefully planned. Yes Equality issued an official statement regarding the archbishop’s letter to accompany the piece on the 9pm RTÉ news the evening it was

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland