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Western European Liberation Theology, 1924-1959: The First Wave

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Overview

Western European Liberation Theology is the first comprehensive survey of the development of a distinct, progressive variant of Catholicism in twentieth-century Western Europe. This Left Catholicism served to lay the basis for the subsequent events and evolutions associated with Vatican II.
Initially emerging within the boundaries of Catholic Action, fuelled by the growing power and self-confidence of the Catholic laity, a series of challenges to received wisdom and an array of novel experiments were launched in various corners of Western Europe. The moment of liberation from Nazi occupation and world war in 1944/45 turned out to be the highpoint of these optimistic paradigm shifts.
Concentrating on interrelated developments in theology, Catholic politics and apostolic social action, Gerd-Rainer Horn integrates evidence from Italian, French and Belgian national contexts. Drawing on his research in over twenty archives between Leuven and Rome, he highlights the role of organisations, social movements, and intellectual trends. The pivotal contributions of key individuals are assessed, from theologians such as Jacques Maritain and Emmanuel Mounier, to the millenarian activist priests, Don Zeno Saltini and Don Primo Mazzolari. In conclusion Horn suggests that first-wave Western European Left Catholicism served as an inspiration - and constituted a prototype - for subsequent Third World Liberation Theology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is an important contribution to the history of progressive Catholicism in the twentieth century and as such it is highly recommended."

—Catholic Library World

". . . This book is based upon extensive research and offers rich new material about movements of Catholic laypeople in the mid-twentieth century."—The Catholic Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199204496
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2009
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Catholic action : a twentieth-century social movement (1920s-1930s) 5

2 Theology and philosophy in the age of fascism, communism, and world war 54

3 The politics of Left Catholicism in the 1940s 110

4 The Mouvement Populaire des Familles 175

5 A working-class apostolate beyond Catholic action : team building, base communities, and worker priests 225

Conclusion 291

Bibliographic Essay 303

Index 311

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    Posted October 22, 2012

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