Drawing upon a multi-disciplinary methodology employing diverse written sources, material practices and vivid life histories, Faith in the family seeks to assess the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the ordinary believer, alongside contemporaneous shifts in British society relating to social mobility, the sixties, sexual morality and secularisation. Chapters examine the changes in the Roman Catholic liturgy and Christology; devotion to Mary, the rosary and the place of women in the family and church, as well as the enduring (but shifting) popularity of Saints Bernadette and Therese.
Appealing to students of modern British gender and cultural history, as well as a general readership interested in religious life in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century, Faith in the family illustrates that despite unmistakable differences in their cultural accoutrements and interpretations of Catholicism, English Catholics continued to identify with and practise the 'Faith of Our Fathers' before and after Vatican II. Reflecting contemporaneously on the monumental events taking place in Rome (and throughout the Catholic world) as a consequence of the Second Vatican Council, the publisher and polemicist Frank Sheed wrote a book in 1968 entitled Is it the Same Church? Nearly fifty years on, this historical study of the social, cultural and gendered identities of English Catholics addresses a similar question, and surveys changes and continuities in their devotional lives and spiritual commitments, across three generations.