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The Bible is one of the most cited and reworked texts in Borges’s output. The chapter analyses the context in which Borges did his reading of the Bible and its resulting implications. His approach to the Bible was in opposition to that of Catholic integralism: a conception of Catholicism characterized by intransigence and intolerance, which held sway in Argentina in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Borges attributed importance to the Scriptures and defined hiimself as an interested yet sceptical individual. He made almost exclusive use of the Protestant Bible, his personal favourite being the King James Bible, published in 1611. In his later years, Borges declared his preference for Reformed Christianity, and he cited his paternal grandmother. Fanny Haslam, as an example of Protestant bibliocentrism.
The Introduction sketches the main arguments of the book and introduces the reader to the concepts of Greater Ireland and Hiberno–Roman Catholicism and to the workings of the Propaganda Fide and its relationship to the Irish Catholic diaspora.
In the early nineteenth century, the American Catholic Church was largely dominated by French and German priests and bishops, many associated with a particular religious order. By 1850, Irish bishops – many trained in Rome – controlled most of the church. This chapter examines how this happened and with what consequences.
This chapter investigates debates around the First Amendment in the nineteenth century. In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut that the First Amendment built “a wall of separation between Church & State.” Although not central to interpreting the First Amendment in the nineteenth century, Jefferson’s metaphor became the dominant interpretation in twentieth-century jurisprudence. This chapter examines whether citizens, public figures, and the courts endorsed a theory similar to Jefferson’s, and it finds they did not. Instead, the national practice endorsed public Christianity, building upon that faith’s majority status. At the same time, three groups posed definite challenges to this consensus. Freethinkers raised doubts about both Christianity and its socially privileged status. Roman Catholics had to defend their rights to religious practice. Mormon practice of plural marriage, however, went beyond the population’s willingness to tolerate and so was opposed by the power of the federal government.
The introduction opens by detailing the development of the conventual movement, giving an overview of the two-hundred-year lifespan of this exile initiative. The chapter then discusses archival survival rates, as well as recent historiographical trends that have seen the English convents in exile become a major area of interest. This literature is explored with the intention of contextualising the English convents in Catholic Europe, opening up wider themes relating to religious and national identity in the convents. As well as providing the context for the chapters of the monograph, the nuns’ adherence to the edicts of Trent are also placed in the broader context of the Catholic Reformation and Catholic Europe. Each chapter is then summarised, with an explanation that, rather than a linear, chronological approach to the convents, the book explores the English convents in exile thematically. The chapters have been ordered to take the reader through the experience of a nun, from entry into the convent to life in enclosure, from what the nuns’ surroundings looked like to how the whole enterprise was funded, from what nuns did all day to their wider place within the Catholic world.
This article analyzes the impact that religion had on the act of lynching and its legitimation in postrevolutionary Mexico. Basing its argument on the examination of several cases of lynching that took place after the religiously motivated Cristero War had ended, the article argues that the profanation of religious objects and precincts revered by Catholics, the propagation of conservative and reactionary ideologies among Catholic believers, and parish priests’ implicit or explicit endorsement of belligerent forms of Catholic activism all contributed to the perpetuation of lynching from the 1930s through the 1950s. Taking together, these three factors point at the relationship between violence and the material, symbolic, and political dimensions of Catholics’ religious experience in postrevolutionary Mexico. The fact that lynching continued well into the 1940s and 1950s, when Mexican authorities and the Catholic hierarchy reached a closer, even collaborative relationship, shows the modus vivendi between state and Church did not bring an end to religious violence in Mexico. This continuity in lynching also illuminates the centrality that popular – as opposed to official or institutional - strands of Catholicism had in construing the use of violence as a legitimate means to defend religious beliefs and symbols, and protect the social and political orders associated with Catholic religion at the local level. Victims of religiously motivated lynchings included blasphemous and anticlerical individuals, people that endorsed socialist and communist ideas, as well as people that professed Protestant beliefs and practices.
Some concerned Catholic theologians and popular writers have addressed the ubiquity of body hatred in the United States in their prescriptive considerations of liturgical fasting. This essay brings a feminist theological lens to their writings to argue that this Catholic fasting literature presents dualistic and decontextualized accounts of embodiment and of sacramental practice that reify the discursive structures of body hatred in the US context. In response, the author advocates for a shift in Catholic theological discourse about fasting as one attempt to resist body hatred and support more liberative possibilities for embodiment in this context.*
After exploring Eliano’s participation in the burning of the Talmud in Rome in 1553, the introduction outlines the book’s central argument regarding the entanglement of Eliano’s Jewish past and Catholic identity. By exploring Eliano’s Jewishness, which I define as the burden that his Jewish past continued to bear on the formulation of his Catholic identity, I argue that Eliano’s missionary efforts allow us to unpack how sincere converts approached their new religious identities in an age of heightened anxiety regarding religious conversion. By thinking of Eliano as a palimpsest of religious identity formation – someone whose Jewish past continued to play a foundational role in the way he became and existed as a Catholic – the book contributes to our historiographical understanding of the role of the individual in constructing collective identities in the early modern Mediterranean and how individuals were agents of collective change. His story likewise illuminates how Catholic missionary activity was also a field in which missionaries used their efforts to promote the apostolic mission of the Catholic Church to construct fuller senses of themselves and secure their place as Catholics.
This chapter argues that Arthur Murphy’s tragic dramaturgy is more radical than has been recognised, notably in its treatment of the classic Enlightenment concerns with religious toleration and the ‘savage’ or indigenous critique of colonial invasion. Murphy’s serious plays are Drydenic in spatial reach, stretching from East Asia (The Orphan of China ) to Peru (Alzuma [1757/1773]) via Syria (Zenobia ) and Greece (The Grecian Daughter ). Murphy’s imperial dramaturgy swerves from his predecessor’s, however, in focusing on female protagonists and reiterating indigenous or non-European literary historical accounts of colonial conquest and resistance. Contextualising Murphy’s tragic writing via his Irish and Catholic origins (partially subsumed by his later metropolitan British and Anglican affiliations), this chapter explores Alzuma’s reiteration of Voltaire’s and Hill’s Alzire/Alzuma, themselves redactions of Garcilaso de la Vega’s Royal Commentaries of Peru. Noting how Murphy’s profound attachment to his devoutly Catholic mother informs his critique of forced conversion, Orr shows how his dramatisation of the black legend topos is linked to other Irish Patriot uses of this trope, by radical politician Charles Lucas and by well-known Patriot author Henry Brooke, in the latter’s Montezuma [undated].
Macklin’s Henry the VII (1746) has received little critical attention. This chapter reads the play as part of a tradition of Irish history plays that were influenced by Joseph Addison’s Cato (1713). Addison’s themes of personal self-sacrifice, love of country and resistance to tyranny proved inspirational for Irish dramatists in the wake of the Declaratory Act (1720) as can be seen in William Philips’s Hibernia Freed (1722) and Henry Brooke’s Gustavus Vasa (1739). History plays then might offer an alternative genealogy of eighteenth-century Irish theatre which is often focused on comedies.
Justice Antonin Scalia was a towering figure in jurisprudence and legal culture. Among other things, he was the most eloquent and prominent proponent of the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted according to its “original meaning.” Scalia was also a devout Christian: a traditional Catholic who set forth his Christian beliefs with honesty, pungency, and wit. He frequently told the story how during his college oral examinations, he was asked the most significant event in history; he answered, the Battle of Waterloo, whereupon the professor “shook his head sadly and said, ‘No, Mr. Scalia. The Incarnation.’” The lesson for the young Scalia: “[Never] separate your religious life from your intellectual life.” Yet this most publicly devout justice also frequently made clear that his beliefs had nothing to do with his judicial role. His job, he emphasized, was merely to apply the meaning of the text without regard to policy considerations or moral values, including religious values. “I’m a worldly judge,” he often said. This presents a puzzle: did Scalia end up separating his religious life from his jurisprudence, the core of his intellectual life? Or was he still somehow a distinctively Christian judge? The solution, I suggest, lies in distinguishing his first-order legal conclusions, which were driven largely (although not solely) by his positivist judicial method, from his second-order choice of that method, which may well have reflected aspects of his personal outlook on the world, including his faith.
This chapter examined the foundations of Judge John T. Noonan Jr.’s personalist jurisprudence. It looks first at some principal sources for his work, in particular Étienne Gilson and Jacques Maritain. It then engages in a close analysis of Noonan’s book, Persons and Masks of the Law, reflecting on the ways in which Noonan insists that while rules matter in the legal process, rules depend for their efficacy on the persons applying, complying, and evaluating those rules. The chapter then shifts its focus to consider two further aspects of Noonan’s thought: the centrality of narrative and love to the operation of the law. We are defined by narrative, Noonan demonstrates. This is so for us as individuals and as communities. Thus the legal process can only be understood through story. And we must relate to one another in love. This is true as much for individuals responding to the needs of others as it is for lawyers and judges seeking to interpret the words of contracts or wills.
Grace Kennedy’s anti-Catholic novel Father Clement: A Roman Catholic Story (1823) stands almost alone in the nineteenth century when it comes to evidence not only for its reception, but also its use and success, or lack thereof, as a proselytization and devotional tool. The novel’s form and polemical strategies exerted a powerful influence on both Catholic and Protestant writers, popularizing the controversial novel across denominations. In particular, Father Clement’s celebration of prooftexting rooted in sola scriptura as the best method of religious disputation helped end the earlier nineteenth-century “polite” novel’s emphasis on non-confrontational, genteel sociability. But as its Protestant and Catholic reception histories suggest, the novel’s ambivalent treatment of its title character, along with its overt didacticism, led to appropriations that Kennedy could not have predicted. Father Clement catalyzed resistance amongst Catholic readers and novelists, some of whom were inspired by the title character to creatively reinterpret the novel as a brief for Catholicism, others of whom turned to Biblical quotation as a means of undoing sola scriptura altogether. Thus, if the novel predictably generated Protestant imitations, it also led Catholics to new experiments in controversial rhetoric and fiction.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the presence of European Catholic actors in the Ottoman empire dramatically increased, particularly in the Palestinian provinces. The city of Jerusalem and its surrounding hinterland, referred to here by its Arabic name, Jabal al-Quds, witnessed a particularly intensive Catholic presence owing to its sanctified religious status. This article examines the ways in which the local Arabic-speaking Christian population of Jabal al-Quds interacted with these European Catholic actors. It situates these encounters within the wider scholarship on missionary encounters and cross-cultural interactions in the Mediterranean world, arguing that global historians need to pay greater attention to the inequalities embedded in many of these relationships and the frequent episodes of violent conflict they gave rise to. By inverting the standard Western gaze on Jerusalem and looking at these encounters from the inside out, the article seeks to restore local actors as important players within the global Counter-Reformation, albeit within a context of subjugation, conflict, and stymied mobility.
This essay examines the concept of the Anglican via media and its historical development into its present form. It argues that the Anglican via media is properly understood not as a fixed program of reform, but as moderation in reform, following the classical notion of moderation as a mean between two extremes. The essay traces the theological theme of moderation in reform through the figures of Jewel, Parker, Hooker, Hall, Montagu, Cosin, Forbes, Bramhall, Puller, Knox, to Jebb’s idea of Anglican exceptionalism, and, ultimately, to Newman’s attempt to create the doctrine of the Anglican via media.
In this essay, I argue that despite the Vatican’s condemnation of Nazi racism as an anti-Christian ideology, some Catholic sectors in Fascist Italy were not impervious to anti-semitic and racial prejudices. Looking at the discussion on race and anti-semitism in the propaganda of clerical Fascism and its simultaneous echo in Church discourses, this research delves deeper into the formation of a specific Catholic trend of racial anti-semitism that excluded Jews from a religiously and ethnically homogeneous definition of the Italian nation. A significant part of the propagandists of clerical Fascism attempted to define a racial and anti-semitic narrative that could be suitable for both Fascist racism and Italian Catholic culture. I examine the Catholic appropriation of racial anti-semitism on a broad spectrum of positions, ranging from Catholics who only flirted with racialist rhetoric to those who dismissed the transformative value of conversion because of alleged racial barriers. Challenging the traditional distinction between Christian anti-Judaism and modern anti-semitism, the examples under examination demonstrate the entanglement of religious and racial arguments in the shaping of a ‘Jewish race’ that was considered foreign to the italianità celebrated by the regime.
This paper examines intersections and divergences between Catholic universalism and Fascist ethno-nationalism in the pages of La Tradotta del Fronte Giulio, a satirical weekly newspaper for Italian military personnel in occupied Yugoslavia during the Second World War. Military propagandists appealed to grassroots Catholicism to motivate demoralised Italian soldiers in the last year of war against the communist-led Yugoslav partisan movement. Their use of Catholic themes revealed overlapping values but also apparent incongruities between Christianity, Fascism, and Italian military culture that had been evident throughout the ventennio. While Catholic anti-communism blended relatively seamlessly with nationalist-Fascist anti-Slavism to depict the partisan enemy as a dehumanised Other, the use of conventional piety and Christian humanitarianism in the army’s propaganda contradicted Fascist and military concepts of the ideal Italian ‘new man’. In the process, military propagandists sowed the seeds for the brava gente myth that dominated postwar memory and national identity in Italy.
Despite receiving particular praise from a range of early modern commentators, from Nicholas Sander to Pedro de Ribadeneyra, most historians have seen the Italian merchant Antonio Buonvisi playing a fairly negligible role in the history of mid-Tudor Catholicism. This article challenges this interpretation. After reassessing some rather simplistic assessments of Buonvisi’s religious beliefs, this article explores his actions and activities following his self-imposed exile from England in 1549. Using research conducted in both the State Archives of Lucca and the Vatican City, it suggests that Buonvisi played a far more significant role in ensuring the survival of English Catholicism over the first decades of the Reformation than is usually acknowledged. Indeed, it argues that Buonvisi may have helped lay core foundations for the Catholic restoration of Mary I’s reign, the success of which has recently been highlighted by historians such as Eamon Duffy.
Catholic school alumni played a crucial role in shaping Senegal and Benin in the first decades after independence.1 Though they came from a variety of religious and socioeconomic backgrounds, they nevertheless strongly identified with their Catholic schooling experience. Indeed, these West African alumni composed a distinct social group that had been inculcated in the habits and values of ‘Catholic civism’, an ideology based around public service, self-discipline, moral restraint, honesty, and community. While many studies of educated youth emphasize their political activism, Catholic school youth engaged in the subtler process of shaping their new countries by transforming colonial-era institutions from within. Beyond politics, students who graduated in the early independence era used Catholic civism as both a social marker and an implicit social critique.
This article examines the life and ideas of Josef Schmidlin, the founder of Catholic ‘missionary science’ and the most influential German Catholic missionary theorist of the first half of the twentieth century. An admirer of the German Protestant missionary theologian Gustav Warneck, Schmidlin often appears in the historiography as a forerunner of the Protestant–Catholic ecumenical collaboration that emerged after the Second World War. Yet a close examination of his writing reveals a vigorous critic of Protestantism and the Protestant ecumenical movement. A sceptic of transnational missionary organizations, he remained a firm supporter of the German nation and imperial project. This article gestures towards both the continuities and the discontinuities between the early attempts at fostering confessional cooperation between Protestants and Catholics and the later iterations. It also examines how nineteenth-century entanglements between missions and empire shaped the ideas of Catholic missionary theory during the interwar years.