• Clifford Williamson
Part of the Histories of the Sacred and Secular, 1700-2000 book series (HISASE)


The primary purpose of this work has been to examine and interpret the intellectual contribution of Catholics to the issues of identity, politics and piety both in the context of their self-image as Catholics and as Scots. The topics chosen for discussion demonstrate a wide-ranging movement within sections of the Catholic community to redefine the nature and meaning of Catholicism as it affected both their actions as part of the faithful and as citizens. It is clear from the whole range of interests from political action to personal devotion, from attempts to unite the growing Catholic professional classes in the Newman Association to the revisions of Scottish historical writing, that Catholics were not only attempting to break out from the so-called ‘ghetto’ but also seeking to construct a new role for Catholicism in Scottish life. The secondary purpose of this work has been to put the changes in Scottish Catholicism into context, not only in terms of the domestic situation in the Archdiocese of Glasgow in particular and Scotland in general but also to place them, where relevant, in the context of the changing characteristics of the Holy Roman Catholic Church between 1918 and 1965. The relevance of this second purpose has been to bring the discussion of Scottish Catholicism into the mainstream debate on religiosity as a phenomenon in modern Europe. Too often academic studies on Scottish Catholicism have been concerned with parochial concerns, viewing the development of the Catholic community as only having relevance to Scottish concerns and of no significance beyond this.


Catholic Social Teaching Intellectual Contribution Domestic Situation Vatican Council Civic Identity 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clifford Williamson
    • 1
  1. 1.Bath Spa UniversityBathUK

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