The Abrogation of the Index
This epilogue discusses the changed relationship between Catholicism and intellectual modernity to offer some conclusions about the importance and limits of literary culture as a means of understanding U.S. Catholic intellectual history in the twentieth century. It considers how the Index of Forbidden Books and the system of thought it stood for continued to occupy a central place in the public image of American Catholicism beyond the first half of the century. It suggests that the Index and the system of censorship it represented had continued to reflect the complexity of relationships among actors in Catholic print, literary, and intellectual culture in the years leading up to the Second Vatican Council. Finally, it cites Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited and its take on the Index in particular and Catholic literary culture in general.
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