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Reading and Rebellion in Catholic Germany, 1770-1914

Jeffrey T. Zalar (University of Cincinnati)

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Hardback

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Cambridge University Press
29 November 2018
European history; Social & cultural history; Roman Catholicism, Roman Catholic Church; Ethical issues: censorship
Popular conceptions of Catholic censorship, symbolized above all by the Index of Forbidden Books, figure prominently in secular definitions of freedom. To be intellectually free is to enjoy access to knowledge unimpeded by any religious authority. But how would the history of freedom change if these conceptions were false? In this panoramic study of Catholic book culture in Germany from 1770-1914, Jeffrey T. Zalar exposes the myth of faith-based intellectual repression. Catholic readers disobeyed the book rules of their church in a vast apostasy that raised personal desire and conscience over communal responsibility and doctrine. This disobedience sparked a dramatic contest between lay readers and their priests over proper book behavior that played out in homes, schools, libraries, parish meeting halls, even church confessionals. The clergy lost this contest in a fundamental reordering of cultural power that helped usher in contemporary Catholicism.
By:   Jeffrey T. Zalar (University of Cincinnati)
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 158mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   680g
ISBN:   9781108472906
ISBN 10:   1108472907
Series:   Publications of the German Historical Institute
Pages:   398
Publication Date:   29 November 2018
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction; 1. At the origins of Germany's book wars, 1770-1815; 2. Gall and honey in the Catholic theology of cultural taste; 3. Reading run amok in Prussia triumphant, 1815-1845; 4. Book mischief in the 'papal monarchy', 1845-1880; 5. Catholics and their 'deficit in education'; 6. The tail wags the dog: the lay rebellion against Catholic libraries after 1880; 7. Brave new world: lay reading in the libraries they want; 8. An appetite for pleasure: private reading in Germania Profana; Conclusion.

Jeffrey T. Zalar is Associate Professor of History and the inaugural holder of the Ruth J. and Robert A. Conway Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies at the University of Cincinnati. He writes and lectures on the cultural and intellectual history of Roman Catholicism, the history of modern German religion, and the history of modern knowledge.

Reviews for Reading and Rebellion in Catholic Germany, 1770-1914

'With the scarcity of English language works on nineteenth-century German Catholic culture, Zalar's study is truly welcomed. He has produced a brilliant [and] sophisticated examination of the changing reading habits of Catholics over two centuries.' Kevin P. Spicer, Contemporary Church History Quarterly 'Zalar's work illustrates how German Catholics engaged in a long process of resistance against clerical direction and authority over what lay Catholics read ... This resistance demonstrates fundamental problems with traditional conceptions of clerical authority over the laity, it questions the religious milieu's cohesion and it gives lay Catholics ... much greater agency in their own history as Catholics and Germans.' Eric Yonke, German History 'A fluently written historical narrative ... Zalar's account is a very welcome one that engages with the research on Catholicism and enlarges it in a promising way.' Bernward Schmidt, Historische Zeitschrift 'With the scarcity of English language works on nineteenth-century German Catholic culture, Zalar's study is truly welcomed. He has produced a brilliant [and] sophisticated examination of the changing reading habits of Catholics over two centuries.' Kevin P. Spicer, Contemporary Church History Quarterly 'Zalar's work illustrates how German Catholics engaged in a long process of resistance against clerical direction and authority over what lay Catholics read ... This resistance demonstrates fundamental problems with traditional conceptions of clerical authority over the laity, it questions the religious milieu's cohesion and it gives lay Catholics ... much greater agency in their own history as Catholics and Germans.' Eric Yonke, German History 'A fluently written historical narrative ... Zalar's account is a very welcome one that engages with the research on Catholicism and enlarges it in a promising way.' Bernward Schmidt, Historische Zeitschrift


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