Liberalism and Tradition: Aspects of Catholic Thought in Nineteenth-Century France

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This 1975 text is a survey of French Catholic thought during a period of marked spiritual and intellectual revival, delimited roughly by the Napoleonic Concordat with the Vatican in 1802 and the Separation Law of 1905. The author studies many diverse writers in detail and analyses in characteristically lucid manner the distinctive contribution to French intellectual life in this 'second grand siecle'. Dr Reardon examines too the major trends in French Catholic thought, and concludes that in the nineteenth century there was a recurring tension between liberalism and tradition; between the poles of a secular and even agnostic humanism, and a rigid ultramontanism. The approach is non-technical, an the book will be of considerable interest to a wide variety of readers, both general and specialist. It was the first book in English to cover the development of Catholic thought in France through the whole of the nineteenth century.

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Cambridge University Press
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