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Recovering the Legacy of the Thought of Catholic Lay Women (1945-62)

Natalia Núñez Bargueño    Universidad de Castilla La Mancha (Spain)    



At the crossroads of gender studies, theology and transnational, intellectual and cultural history, this article introduces a new perspective on the pre-history of the Second Vatican Council. The post-war and early Cold War period coincided with the rise of a generation of lay women who became true national and international apostolate professionals. The herstories of their legacies have been largely overlooked or confined by biographical or national boundaries. However, due to their influence on public policies and agenda setting, lay women were able to use ‘female’ forms of associationism as an entryway into male-dominated arenas, including theological debates, while simultaneously beginning to articulate their desire for greater participation in both broader society and the Church.

May 16, 2023
March 30, 2023
Jan. 17, 2023

Keywords: Lay WomenPersonalismIntellectual HistoryAgencyTransnational HistoryCatholicismGenderUnited NationsHumanitarianism

Copyright: © 2023 Natalia Núñez Bargueño. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.