The reception of French Catholic intellectuals in Britain after the second world war
French Cultural Studies, 17, (3), . (doi:10.1177/0957155806068093).
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French intellectuals had a major impact on British cultural life during the post-war years from 1945 to 1960. Among them, Catholic intellectuals were a significant group. This article seeks to reveal some patterns taken in the process of ‘diaspora of ideas’. It identifies three groups of Catholic intellectuals: philosophers such as Mounier and Marcel, writers such as Mauriac and Bernanos, and priests such as Lubac and Teilhard de Chardin. It shows that their ideas travelled through personal contacts, through the work of literary and academic commentators, and especially through published translations. They were received by a largely Catholic audience, divided between elite and working-class groups with different priorities. British publishers and their advisors scanned the French intellectual scene, selecting for translation those items that seemed most relevant to British concerns. They largely ignored or neglected historical, political or institutional issues specific to the French context, and used French ideas to assist them in addressing key issues in Britain
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