Jazz Age Catholicism: Mystic Modernism in Postwar Paris, 1919-1933

Jazz Age Catholicism: Mystic Modernism in Postwar Paris, 1919-1933

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By Stephen Schloesser
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2005
World Rights
440 Pages
ISBN 9780802087188
Published Jun 2005
Online discount: 25%
 $97.00    $72.75
Following the Great War's devastation, innovative movements in France offered competing visions of a revitalized national body and a new world order. One of these was the postwar Catholic revival or renouveau catholique. Since the church had historically been the dominant religious force in France, its turn of the century separation from the state was especially bitter. For many Catholics, the 1914-18 sacrifices made on the Republic's behalf necessitated its postwar "re-Christianization." However, in their attempt to reconcile Catholicism with culture, revivalists needed to abandon old oppositions and adapt religion's rigging to the prevailing winds of modernity.

Stephen Schloesser's Jazz Age Catholicism shows how a postwar generation of Catholics refashioned traditional notions of sacramentalism in modern language and imagery. Jacques Maritain's philosophy, Georges Rouault's visual art, Georges Bernanos's fiction, and Charles Tournemire's music all reclothed ancient tropes in new fashions. By the late 1920s, the renouveau catholique had successfully positioned Catholic intellectual and cultural discourse at the very centre of elite French life. Its synthesis of Catholicism and culture would define the religiosity of many throughout Western Europe and the Americas into the 1960s.

Introduction A Refusal to Quarantine the Sacred
Prologue Realism, Eternalism, Spiritual Naturalism

Part One: From Dualism to Dialectic
1 Cultural Manicheanism: Apocalyptic Melodrama
2 Trauma and Memorial: Repatriating the Repressed
3 Mystic Realism: A Faith That Faced the Facts

Part Two: Jacques and Raïssa Maritain: Cultural Hylomorphism
4 Ultramodernist Anti-modernism: Neoclassical Catholicism
5 Catholic Catholicity: Nothing Human Is Alien

Part Three: Mystic Modernism: Catholic Visions of the Real
6 Georges Rouault: Masked Redemption
7 Georges Bernanos: Passionate Supernaturalism
8 Charles Tournemire: Mystical Dissonance

Abbreviations 323
Notes 325
Index 421

John Gilmary Shea Prize - American Catholic Historical Association (United States) - Winner in 2006