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Title: Confronting modernity : Pope Leo XIII, Rerum novarum, and the Catholic Church in Ireland and Poland, 1878-1914
Author: Luminiello, Rose
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 6707
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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This dissertation examines how the encyclical Rerum Novarum was Pope Leo XIII's answer to the crisis posed to Catholicism by modern ideologies, particularly by socialism. By looking at Leo's intellectual and international influences, the dissertation establishes how and why Rerum Novarum was developed. It then looks to institutional reactions to the encyclical, and to the Catholic laity, to determine what effects the encyclical had on justifications for protest and resistance in the political and economic spheres in the Irish province of Ulster and the Prussian Polish province of Poznania. The dissertation examines the intellectual tradition of Thomism which underlies Leo's papacy and writings and establishes how Thomism serves as the foundations for Rerum Novarum. It then looks to Ireland and Prussia as two of Leo's main international concerns and demonstrates how his interests in political developments form his practical solution to the problems in society as a counterargument to the vision of society offered by socialism. Rerum Novarum is then analysed, to show how Leo XIII used traditional Thomistic principles to solve modern problems, and to establish where the Irish and Prussian situations influenced the encyclical's development. Finally, the dissertation examines responses to Rerum Novarum. It looks to a case study of the lower-class laity to show how the Thomistic principles presented by Leo in Rerum Novarum shaped the justifications of protest and resistance in Ulster and Poznania. By examining the Catholic Church from the pope to the laity, this dissertation demonstrates how Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum provided Catholics with a way to legitimize immoral actions within the scope of Catholic morality. In this way, Rerum Novarum changed how the laity viewed their status or participation in Catholicism, initiating a new type of lay Catholicism which shaped the Catholic Church well into the twenty-first century.
Supervisor: Frost, Robert I. ; Brown, Michael Sponsor: Centre for Citizenship ; Civil Society ; and Rule of Law (University of Aberdeen)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Catholic Church