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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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A lived religious history of English Catholicism, 1945–82
Author: Alana Harris

Drawing upon a multi-disciplinary methodology employing diverse written sources, material practices and vivid life histories, Faith in the Family seeks to assess the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the ordinary believer, alongside contemporaneous shifts in British society relating to social mobility, the sixties, sexual morality, and secularisation. Chapters examine the changes in the Roman Catholic liturgy and Christology, devotion to Mary, the rosary and the place of women in the family and church, as well as the enduring (but shifting) popularity of Saints Bernadette and Thérèse.

Appealing to students of modern British gender and cultural history, as well as a general readership interested in religious life in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century, Faith in the Family illustrates that despite unmistakable differences in their cultural accoutrements and interpretations of Catholicism, English Catholics continued to identify with and practise the ‘Faith of Our Fathers’ before and after Vatican II.

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A Vatican rag
Alana Harris

) treatment in this forum, or more serious theological consideration in Malcolm Muggeridge’s documentary The English Cardinal: A Personal View of John Carmel Heenan, which followed The Frost Report on Thursday 21 April 1966,4 the Second Vatican Council was big news in Britain, as elsewhere, and elicited vastly different responses from those interrogating the ‘dramatic changes’ taking place within the Catholic Church in the 1960s. Overtly political and intentionally provocative, Lehrer’s parodic litany of all things Catholic provides an unexpected, but nevertheless pertinent

in Faith in the family
Abstract only
Carmen Mangion

that urged an engagement with the modern world: adaptation, renewal and change. Female religious in Britain, weighed down by the reification of centuries of tradition, responded hesitantly. Then the 1960s: in the Church and in the world, ideas that had been slowly simmering began to bubble and sputter. The zeitgeist of the times was one of action. Expectations of a better world generated a radicalisation, religious and secular, explored and lived by laity, religious and priests. The Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) re-enforced that zeitgeist . New, more urgent

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
Beyond ‘ghettos’ and ‘golden ages’
Alana Harris

existing accounts surrounding the ‘reception’ of the Second Vatican Council by these English Catholics, and explores the ways in which these histories diverge from the analysis adopted within this book. The final section contextualises English Catholicism within a broader ‘mainstream’ historiography of the post-war period, encompassing concerns about secularisation and religious diversity, and the fundamental shifts in morality and respect for authority and tradition associated with the 1960s, as well as shifting leisure cultures and social mobility. In 1936, David

in Faith in the family
Charles E. Curran

paragraphs to the discussion of various human rights including both political and civil rights and social and economic rights before talking about human duties.3 It was only at the Second Vatican Council in 1965 that the Roman Catholic Church finally accepted the right to religious freedom for all human beings. Pope John Paul II in Redemptor hominis, his first encyclical in 1979, saw human rights as a fundamental principle of human welfare, the criterion for testing the existence of social justice within a country, and the basis for social and international peace.4 Pope John

in Religion and rights
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Hymns ancient and modern
Alana Harris

-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 258-270 FaithFamily Ch 6.indd 260 04/04/2013 14:40 Conclusion261 greater acknowledgment and articulation of this diversity of opinion and practice, and the reconfiguration of a Catholic identity accordingly. * Writing in The Tablet in 1970 prognosticating what ‘the church in 1984’ would be like, layman J. M. Cameron reflected on the Council and wrote of the passing of a certain

in Faith in the family
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Post-war modernity and religious vocations
Carmen Mangion

prayers will be of little avail as many of our small number are already old, therefore we need recruits. 79 Active congregations had similar concerns about declining entrants. Susan O’Brien suggests it is time for a rethinking of a pre-conciliar ‘golden age’ of religious life. She questions the commonly voiced assumption that decline in vocations in Europe and North America occurred after the Second Vatican Council. 80 Her demographic analysis of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, one of England’s largest female religious institutes, reveals that a 1920s

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age
Nicholas Bamforth

hierarchy’s response to Curran and his arguments (this is despite the Church’s ostensible commitment, since the Second Vatican Council, to existing within a democratic world). As such, Charles Curran’s life and work bear witness to the continuing inability of one of the world’s most powerful religions to deal reasonably with the moderate, thoughtful exercise of the human rights of free speech and free conscience. The positive side to Charles’s story, however, is that it provides a compelling account of one very sincere human being’s tenacity, courage and intellectual

in Religion and rights
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Carmen Mangion

like a sister who welcomed the Modern Girl, who embraced the changes in governance where she attended meetings and debated decisions. She may have enjoyed the known quality of formal relationships that were deferential and distant. She likely saw justice in teaching or nursing or perhaps did not want additional theological training and felt out of touch with this new language of the Second Vatican Council. And perhaps ‘becoming a woman’ was just a series of difficult decisions about what clothes to wear or how to style her hair that seemed irrelevant to her life as

in Catholic nuns and sisters in a secular age