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Catholicism has traditionally embraced both a clearly delineated belief in God and an unique view of human nature. Over the past half century, the traditional Catholic concept of man as a creature in an individual relationship with his Creator ("vertical man") has been challenged by many dissatisfied theologians and writers. For many people today, even within the Catholic Church, man is now defined predominantly by a nexus of social relationships. He has become "horizontal man," obsessed with himself and distant from God.
In reply to this prevailing ideology, Whitehouse, a Reader in Comparative Literature in the University of Bradford, provides detailed interpretations of the human being in the works of three major twentieth-century Catholic novelists. His interpretations suggest a fruitful alternative and antidote to the dissent that is now so prevalent in the Church, and offer a richer view of humanity and its potential.
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