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All Good Books Are Catholic BooksPrint Culture, Censorship, and Modernity in Twentieth-Century America$
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Una M. Cadegan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451126

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451126.001.0001

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Modernisms Literary and Theological

Modernisms Literary and Theological

(p.47) Chapter 2 Modernisms Literary and Theological
All Good Books Are Catholic Books

Una M. Cadegan

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the question of “modernism” as the subject of theological debate and ecclesiastical condemnation and in relation to contemporary literary life. It first considers the relationship between literary modernism and Catholic antimodernism before turning to a discussion of four sets of ideas that were central to the definition of modernism as well as to the debate over literary modernism and its relationship to Catholic literary aesthetics: individual/community, iconoclasm/orthodoxy, innovation/repetition, and openness/closure. It argues that in each case, in the early years of the flourishing of literary modernism, Catholicism was strongly associated with one term of the opposition and seemed poised to define itself at least in part by rejecting the other term. It also explains how literary discussions that sought an appropriate stance toward potentially dangerous or heretical ideas emerged as an important site of Catholic engagement with philosophical modernity.

Keywords:   modernism, antimodernism, literary aesthetics, individual/community, iconoclasm/orthodoxy, innovation/repetition, openness/closure, Catholicism, modernity

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