From colonial to global?

Catholic internationalism and worldviews 1945-1958

Sam Kuijken

Traditionally, the period from 1945–1960 has been seen as one of stability within Roman Catholicism. Recently, however, some have argued that instead of the long prelude to the vibrant sixties and Vatican II, this period was in fact one of deep transformations. Building on this recent re-appreciation of the 40’s and 50’s, this project studies the interplay between the Church and decolonization from the perspective of Christian non-governmental organizations. Transnational actors such as the International Federation of Christian Trade Unions (IFCTU), the International Young Christian Workers (IYCW) and Pax Christi were agents in an informal Vatican diplomacy. By tracing their activities across various continents and combining the gained insights with the recently undisclosed Vatican archives from the Pontificate of Pius XII, this project will shed a new light on how Catholic internationalism changed prior to 1960.

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