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Truth and Relevance: Catholic Theology in French Quebec since the Quiet Revolution

Truth and Relevance: Catholic Theology in French Quebec since the Quiet Revolution
Baum, Gregory
McGill-Queen's University Press, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-7735-4326-3
Subject: Religious Studies, Theology, Canadian, Sociology, Quebec Studies, History, Quebecois History

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After the Quiet Revolution, the Catholic church lost its stronghold in Quebec. Despite this decline, or perhaps because of it, contemporary Catholic thought in Quebec exhibits a bold creativity. In Truth and Relevance, Gregory Baum introduces, contextualizes, and interprets Catholic theological writing in Quebec since the 1960s, and presents this body of work for an anglophone readership.

Baum shows how Catholic theologians, inspired by the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), uncovered the social meaning in the Christian message, allowing them to address many problems and concerns of contemporary society. With reliance on the Gospel, they supported Quebec's new self-understanding, embraced its nationalism under certain conditions, fostered social solidarity, criticized the unregulated market system, demanded gender equality, and called for respect of new religious and cultural pluralism. Leaving behind the Catholicism of Quebec's past, these theologians embraced the humanistic values of modern society, recognizing their affinity with the Gospel, while at the same time revealing the destructive potential of modernity, its individualism, utilitarianism, relativism, and its link to empire and capitalism.

Weaving together theological and sociological reflections, Truth and Relevance is a fascinating account of modernity, secularism, and the evolution of the Catholic church in Quebec.

“This is a pathbreaking and fascinating study. Baum weaves together theological and sociological reflections – on ‘modernity,’ ‘securalism,’ the rapid decline of the Catholic Church in Canada – which immensely enriches the story.” Lee Cormie, Theology Department, University of St. Michael’s College.

One of Canada's most eminent ecumenists, Gregory Baum is professor emeritus in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University.