James Chappel

Catholic Modern

The Challenge of Totalitarianism and the Remaking of the Church

Harvard University Press 2018

New Books in Christian StudiesNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books Network March 7, 2018 Hillary Kaell

In 1900 the Catholic Church stood staunchly against religious freedom and the secular state. By the 1960s, that position was reversed and Catholics began...

In 1900 the Catholic Church stood staunchly against religious freedom and the secular state. By the 1960s, that position was reversed and Catholics began advocating for particularly Catholic forms of modernity. How did this happen? How did the world’s largest religious organization become modern?

James Chappel traces answers to these questions in his recent book, Catholic Modern: The Challenge of Totalitarianism and the Remaking of the Church (Harvard University Press, 2018). It tells the story of how radical ideas emerged in the 1930s and exercised enormous influence after World War II in Catholicism and in European politics more broadly.

James Chappel is Assistant Professor of History at Duke University.


Hillary Kaell co-hosts NBIR and is Associate Professor of Religion at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

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