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.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 326
Weight: 442 g
Dimensions: 234 x 157 x 18 mm
The recent fate of liberation theology in Latin America has received a good deal of publicity; not so well known has been the history of liberation theology in Western Europe. Help has now arrived. With considerable industry, Dr Horn, Senior Lecturer in 20th-Century History in the University of Warwick, has published this, his eighth book, which provides an account of the first wave of liberation theology, nearer home...those with literary stamina will be rewarded by
knowledge of an interesting piece of church history. * Margaret Pawley, Church Times *
A highly informed and meticulously researched historical study * Philip Kennedy, Journal of Ecclesiastical History *