A Look Back at the Catholic Intellectualism Issue

Gleason, Philip. "A Look Back at the Catholic Intellectualism Issue," US Catholic Historian 13 (Winter 1995): 19-37.

Philip Gleason's article discusses the distinctive characteristics of three phases in the history of Catholic intellectual life during the last four decades of the twentieth century. According to his chronology, the first phase in this history began with the publication of John Tracy Ellis's groundbreaking 1955 article on Catholic intellectual history and ended in the late 1960s. Phase two involved the cultural upheavals associated with the the late 1960s, and phase three stretched across the quarter century from 1970 until the mid 1990's. Gleason explores why Ellis's essay had such an impact when similar articles previously published had not, the apologetical dimensions of Catholic intellectual life, the emergence of a cultural understanding of Catholicism that evolved out of the debate about Catholic intellectualism, and the contrasts between Catholic and Jewish intellectualism. (LT)