MUP FINAL PROOF – <STAGE>, 08/13/2013, SPi
Secularisation, religion and the state
This chapter introduces a discussion of a fundamental paradox concerning
contemporary society and government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland (UK) – that while there is strong evidence of continuing
trends towards a more secular and less religious society and pattern of social
behaviour, at the same time, religious doctrines, rituals and institutions are
central to the legitimacy, stability and continuity of key elements of the constitutional and
This book is a comparative study of the French and English Catholic literary revivals of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These parallel but mostly independent movements include writers such as Charles Péguy, Paul Claudel, J. K. Huysmans, Gerard Manley Hopkins, G. K. Chesterton and Lionel Johnson. Rejecting critical approaches that tend to treat Catholic writings as exotic marginalia, this book makes extensive use of secularisation theory to confront these Catholic writings with the preoccupations of secularism and modernity. It compares individual and societal secularisation in France and England and examines how French and English Catholic writers understood and contested secular mores, ideologies and praxis, in the individual, societal and religious domains. The book also addresses the extent to which some Catholic writers succumbed to the seduction of secular instincts, even paradoxically in themes which are considered to be emblematic of the Catholic literature.
In this chapter we will attempt to synthesise some of the most common accounts of the history of secularisation in France and England during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Our aim is to arrive at some understanding of the nature of individual and societal secularisation in England and France, and assess, in spite of the vast differences, what correlations can be drawn between the two countries. This will help us understand more clearly the preoccupations of the French and English Catholic authors and the conditions of belief under which they
This book introduces a discussion of a fundamental paradox concerning contemporary society and government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). There is strong evidence of continuing trends towards a more secular and less religious society and pattern of social behaviour. At the same time, religious doctrines, rituals and institutions are central to the legitimacy, stability and continuity of key elements of the constitutional and political system. Outlining the thesis of secularization, the book attempts to account for the failure of secularisation theory. The oaths of the accession and of the coronation of the monarch are the central affirmative symbolic acts which legitimate the system of government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) and the place of the monarchy at the apex of the political system. The book explores some remote and dusty corners of the constitution of the UK that might be of some importance for the operation of the UK political system. The 1953 coronation ad many features of the 1937 coronation on which it was modelled. The religious rituals of the UK Parliament appear to be much more fixed and enduring than those devised in the context of devolution since 1999 to resolve tensions between the religious and political spheres in the 'Celtic' regions. A profound limitation of Anglican multifaithism as a doctrine for uniting the political community is its failure to connect with the large secular population.
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.
From its earliest days, horror film has turned to examples of the horror genre in fiction, such as the Victorian Gothic, for source material. The horror film has continually responded to cultural pressures and ideological processes that resulted in new, mutated forms of the genre. Adaptation in horror cinema is a useful point of departure for articulating numerous socio-cultural trends. Adaptation for the purposes of survival proves the impetus for many horror movie monsters. This book engages generic and thematic adaptations in horror cinema from a wide range of aesthetic, cultural, political and theoretical perspectives. These diverse approaches further evidence the horror genre's obsession with corporeal transformation and narratological re-articulation. Many horror films such as Thomas Edison's Frankenstein, John S. Robertson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, David Cronenberg'sVideodrome, Abel Ferrara's Body Snatchers, and Terence Fisher's The Gorgon are discussed in the book. The book sheds welcome light upon some of the more neglected horror films of cinema's first century, and interrogates the myriad alterations and re-envisionings filmmakers must negotiate as they transport tales of terror between very different modes of artistic expression. It extends the volume's examination of adaptation as both an aesthetic process and a thematic preoccupation by revealing the practice of self-reflexivity and addresses the remake as adaptation. The book analyses the visual anarchy of avant-garde works, deploys the psychoanalytic film theory to interpret how science and technology impact societal secularisation, and explores the experimental extremes of adaptation in horror film.
The aim of this book has been to cast 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 task of remapping these writings against an analytical grid of secularisation theory was prompted by the weaknesses which we argued were inherent in approaching these writings simply under the confessional label of ‘Catholic’. This process has meant not discarding the category of Catholic literature, however
This book has so far sought to explore the writings of the French and English Catholic literary revivals in the context of the secularisation of the individual and society. The aim has been to get beyond the limitations of confessional labels and to explore some of their inner dynamics in ways that cast more light on the confrontation between secularisation and resistance to it.
One possible objection, however, to the critics of secularisation is that the indices of religiosity in society show that
This book is based on a paradox and a coincidence. The paradox is that at the end of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a period of profound secularisation in France, there emerged a generation of Catholic writers and intellectuals who were convinced that the rumours about God’s death had been greatly exaggerated. The coincidence is that, in the same period, English literature too saw a significant revival in Catholic writing. In France, the late novels of Joris Karl Huysmans, the plays of Paul Claudel and the religious
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.