Catholic Progressives in England after Vatican II -- By Jay P. Corrin

In his latest book, Jay P. Corrin examines a significant and little-known subject: the post-Vatican II Catholic progressive movement in Britain, its leaders, and the political and cultural context of the time. He focuses on the emergence of reformist thinking as represented by the Council, and the corresponding revolutionary response triggered by the church’s failure to expand the promises of reform to the satisfaction of Catholics on the political left. The resistance of the Roman Curia, the clerical hierarchy, and many conservative lay men and women to reform was challenged in 1960s England by a cohort of young Catholic intellectuals; in response, they launched a path-breaking journal of ideas called Slant.

What made Slant revolutionary was its success in developing a coherent philosophy of revolution based on a synthesis of the “New theology” fueling Vatican II and the New Left’s Marxist critique of capitalism. Called “a fascinating story” by The Tablet, Corrin’s account of the Slant movement draws “copiously on conversations and correspondence with participants, notably Terry Eagleton, Bernard Sharratt, Martin Shaw, Adrian and Angela Cunningham and Christopher Calnan” Their bold and imaginative efforts inspired many younger Catholics who had despaired of connecting their faith to contemporary social, political, and economic issues.   

“In Catholic Progressives in England after Vatican II, Jay P. Corrin situates the journal Slant within the broad sweep of reformist Catholic thinkers and actors across the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Drawing upon an impressive range of primary and secondary sources, both scholarly and journalistic, Corrin illuminates the journal’s pivotal role in English Catholic liberal thought and action and the impact its contributors’ ideas continue to exert across the decades.” —Steve Rosswurm, Lake Forest College

Jay P. Corrin is professor of social sciences at Boston University. His book Catholic Intellectuals and the Challenge of Democracy (University of Notre Dame Press, 2002) won the American Catholic Historical Association’s John Gilmary Shea Prize in 2003.

Catholic Progressives in England after Vatican II

Jay P. Corrin

Publication Date: November 29, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-268-02310-2 / Paperback $49.00

ISBN: 978-0-268-07700-6 / Ebook Perpetual Ownership, $34.30; Ebook 30-day Ownership, $7.00

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Emily McKnight


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