An Intellectual History of Liberal Catholicism in Western Europe, 1789-1870

This volume probes and deciphers the tensions and contradictions that underlie modern European Liberal Catholicism. Beginning with the French revolution and looking at dialogues between European 'public moralists', the book discusses the ways in which liberal Catholics loosened their bonds with religion, all the while relying on it. It reflects on how and why they promoted a post-revolutionary state and society based on religious dogma and morality, and what new liberal order and socio-political and religious models they proposed.

Beyond the analysis of the work of these Catholic intellectuals, the question of their conceiving a specific liberal approach through Catholicism is also investigated. More generally, it prompts a vital reappraisal of the political, ideological and philosophical pressures that the religious question caused in the redefinition of Western European post-revolutionary liberalism.