British Catholic archives hold a wealth of material relating to Catholic lay action and spirituality in the twentieth-century. For instance, Ushaw College Library holds the papers of a number of lay societies, including the Newman Association, the Catholic Social Workers Guild, the Young Christian Students and the National Board of Catholic Women. There are also many other Catholic archives which hold similar collections: such as the papers of the Young Christian Workers in the Salford Diocesan Archive and the Catholic Union collection in the Westminster Diocesan Archives.
Despite this, little academic research has been carried out which allows us to understand the important role played by the lay apostolate. In order to rectify this historiographical gap we propose to produce an edited collection of essays focusing on twentieth-century lay Catholic action and spiritualty through the prism of such groups and how they helped to shape the experience of the ordinary lives of Catholics during this period. Possible topics could include:
· The impact of Vatican II on the lay apostolate
· The role of lay societies in the First World War/Second World War
· How ‘Catholic’ were Catholic lay societies?
· How the Catholic lay apostolate responded to the challenges of secularisation
If you are interested in contributing to this collection please send a 400-word proposal to either Dr Maria Power, email@example.com and Dr Jonathan Bush, firstname.lastname@example.org by 31stOctober 2019.Essays will be 8000 words in length and will be due with the editors by 1stJanuary 2021.