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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.

Byron and Italian Catholicism
Bernard Beatty

112 6 ‘Something sensible to grasp at’: Byron and Italian Catholicism Bernard Beatty Byron, aged ten, moved from Presbyterian Aberdeen to Newstead Abbey in 1798. The abbey was despoiled at the Reformation but still bore witness to ‘the old faith and the old feelings’ (DJ, XV, 46) that had shaped it. It was, presumably, Byron’s first direct exposure to any kind of Catholicism. Some twenty-​five years later and in Italy, he is still writing about it and presenting it as a secular house that still preserves something of its sacral, specifically Catholic, character

in Byron and Italy
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Frederick Lucas and social Catholicism in Ireland
Patrick Maume

13 Brethren in Christ: Frederick Lucas and social Catholicism in Ireland Patrick Maume It is often asked why Catholicism and Irish nationalism are widely equated, since many leading nationalists have not been Catholics, some Irish Catholics have not been nationalists, and there has often been tension between church authorities and nationalist movements. Nevertheless, both were seen by adherents as representing ‘natural’ loyalties, whereas the motives of those who upheld the British connection were regarded as artificial or corrupt, based on personal advantage

in Irish Catholic identities
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Seán O’Faoláin and the generation of The Bell
Author: Niall Carson

Rebel by Vocation: Seán O’Faoláin and the Generation of The Bell tells the story of O’Faoláin and The Bell through the characters and writers that surrounded its offices in Dublin. It is the emergence of a post-independence national character that The Bell best embodies and this theme will be examined throughout the monograph to produce the first comprehensive ‘biography’ of this seminal literary journal, focussing on the dominant personality in its early years in Seán O’Faoláin with important excursions into the lives of the other principal contributors. It is based on exciting new archival research on O’Faoláin and his co-editor Peadar O’Donnell, who drew around them a generation of diverse and talented writers in The Bell that flourished in the shadows of W.B. Yeats and James Joyce. Drawing comparisons with other literary movements in America and the United Kingdom, this work shows the early influences on O’Faoláin’s writing during the first half of the twentieth century and reveals the complexity of his thought on topics as varied as religion, censorship, the Irish novel and republicanism. This book will challenge the accepted thesis that lauds O’Faoláin and The Bell as the voice of an independent, intellectual, and cultural elite in Ireland, and complicates the received wisdom on its relationship to censorship, the church, and the state.

Britain, 1945–90
Author: Carmen Mangion

Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age examines the changes in religious life for women religious in Britain from 1945 to 1990 identifying how community and individual lives were altered. This work is grounded in three core premises: women religious were influenced by and participated in the wider social movements of the long 1960s; women’s religious institutes were transnational entities and part of a larger global happening; and the struggles of renewal were linked to competing and contradictory ideas of collective, institutional identities. The work pivots on the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), but considers pre and post Vatican II social, cultural and religious events and social movements of the 1960s as influencers in these changes. It interrogates ‘lived experience’ by examining the day-to-day lives of women religious. Though rooted in the experiences of women religious in Britain, the book probes the relationships and interconnectivities between women religious within and across national divides as they move from institutions embedded in uniformity to the acceptance of cultural plurality. It also engages with the histories of the social movements of the long 1960s. For too long, religion has been relegated to its own silo, unlinked to the ‘radical sixties’ and depicted as ultimately obstructionist to its social movements. To contest this, female religious life is examined as a microcosm of change in the Catholic Church pointing to the ‘new thinking and freer lifestyles’ that allowed for the questioning of institutional cultures.

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S. Karly Kehoe

foundations, the guarded and protectionist recusant population, nor the wealthy, ambitious and idealistic convert class of the nineteenth century. Instead of remaining a broken and underground church on the periphery of Scottish society, the Catholic Church emerged from the Victorian era as an empowered and mobilised force on the nation’s religious and political landscape. This book has considered the transformation of Catholicism and the 176 Creating a Scottish Church Catholic Church in the nineteenth century and in doing so it has prioritised the role that women played

in Creating a Scottish Church
Andrew Lynch

Catholicism at face value, including the apparent outlook and discourse of his religious tales, that his ‘attitude toward prevailing religious values is most basically one of protest against a controlling, inquisitorial Church, or against a credulous, sensual piety’, and that in various ways the mainstream of modern criticism ‘presupposes Chaucer’s privileging of rational [what she calls ‘Protestant’] religion over “simplicity of belief”’.2 There is no need to go all the way back to the Reformation to find the basis for views of this kind. Rarely did critics of the long

in Contemporary Chaucer across the centuries
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Ulrike Ehret

07-ChurchNationRace_271-280 28/11/11 14:46 Page 271 7 Conclusion Despite Catholic claims to universality, Catholic communities have never been interchangeable nor have they been monolithic. The example of the Catholic right showed that Catholicism as such was certainly not a bulwark against antisemitism or indeed fascism. On the other hand, the example of the Catholic Worker newspaper in England has proven that religious anti-Jewish teachings do not automatically foster antisemitic sentiments in an entire community. The absence or virulence of antisemitism

in Church, nation and race
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S. Karly Kehoe

emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century to claim a very public place in the nation’s religious landscape. This new Catholic Church would boast a host of chapels, schools and religious personnel that stretched from one end of Scotland to the other. During the nineteenth century, it was the wealthy and influential upper and middle class that spearheaded a process of change that would take Catholicism to another level, displacing the ‘old order’ and instigating modernisation through reform and voluntarism. On a number of levels, Catholics were responding to

in Creating a Scottish Church
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Protestant readings of the Whore of Babylon in early modern England, c.1580–1625
Victoria Brownlee

through the work of John Bale, John Foxe and Heinrich Bullinger. 3 Read by some as the Pope, and by others as the Roman Catholic Church, Revelation’s ‘great Whore’ (Rev. 17:1) became a recognisable symbol of Catholicism among Protestants across post-Reformation Europe. Indeed, so pervasive was the Whore’s visual and ideological presence in this period that Alison Shell deems it

in Biblical women in early modern literary culture 1550–1700