Religion, Children’s Literature and Modernity in Western Europe 1750-2000

Hans Heino Ewers (Editor), Rita Ghesquiere (Editor), Pat Pinsent (Editor), Rita Quaghebeur (Editor), Michel Manson (Editor),

Series: KADOC-Studies on Religion, Culture and Society 3

Category: History, History 1800-present

Language: English

ISBN: 9789058674975

Publication date: October 19, 2005

€46.50 (including 6% VAT)

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Number of pages: 535

Size: 235 x 175 x 30 mm

Stock item: 46141

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In this book some 25 scholars focus on the relationship between religion, children’s literature and modernity in Western Europe since the Enlightenment (c. 1750). They examine various aspects of the phenomenon of children’s literature, such as types of texts, age of readers, position of authors, design and illustration. The role of religion in giving meaning both in a substantive sense as well as through the institutionalised churches is studied from an interdenominational point of view (Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Anglicanism). Finally, the contribution of pedagogy and child psychology in the interaction between modernity, religion and children’s literature is also discussed.

Various articles give a broad overview of the tensions between aesthetics and ethics and the demand for cultural autonomy in the development of children’s literature. Children’s bibles and missionary stories played an important part in the growing diversification of children’s literature, as did the publication of illustrated reviews for children. Remarkable differences are highlighted in the involvement of religious societies and institutions, episcopally approved publishing houses and supervisory bodies in the publication, distribution and supervision of children’s literature. This volume adopts a comparative approach in exploring the underlying religious, ideological and cultural dimensions of children’s literature in modern society.

Jan De Maeyer, Hans-Heino Ewers, Rita Ghesquière, Michel Manson, Pat Pinsent & Patricia Quaghebeur


The Concept of Religious Modernisation
Jan De Maeyer

From Enlightened Tutelage to Means of Emancipation. The Educational Function of Catholic Children’s and Youth Literature in Flanders in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Ria Christens, Marc Depaepe & Mark D’hoker

Children’s Literature as an Arena for Religious Conflicts in Austria (1780-1830)
Ernst Seibert

Catholic and Protestant Children’s Literature and the Process of Modernisation in Switzerland and Germany in the 19th Century
Verena Rutschmann

Religion, German Jewish Children’s and Youth Literature and Modernity
Annegret Völpel

The Varieties of British Protestant Children’s Fiction. Severe Moralising versus Flight of Fancy
Pat Pinsent

British Catholic Children’s Fiction between Vatican I and Vatican II
Pat Pinsent

Religion: Overtones and Undertones in Irish Children’s Books
Valerie Coghlan

Children’s Literature, Religion and Modernity in the Latin Countries (France, Italy, Spain)
Michel Manson

Catholic Children’s Literature in Italy in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Renata Lollo

Religious Children’s Literature in Spain
Celia Vazquez Garcia and Veljka Ruzicka Kenfel


Protestantism and Modernisation in German Children’s Literature of the Late 18th Century
Gottfried Adam

The Attraction of the Picture. The Iconography of Children’s Versions of the Bible in 19th and 20th-Century France
Isabelle Saint-Martin

Protestant Pedagogy and the Visual Culture of the London Missionary Society
Sandy Brewer

The Missionary Novel: a Modern Medium for an Anti-Modern Message. The Belgian Case: a Comparative Analysis
Carine Dujardin

Religious Literature and Modernity. A German Controversy about the Criticism of Children’s Literature around 1900
Hans-Heino Ewers

The Loss of the Father and the Loss of God in English-Language Children’s Literature (1800-2000)
Peter Hunt

Hidden Religious Themes in 20th-Century European Children’s Literature
Rita Ghesquière

The Supervision of Children’s Literature during the Interwar Period: The Case of Boekengids (1923-1930)
Dirk De Geest

Supervising Children’s Literature in the Netherlands, ca. 1880-1940
Jacques Dane

Catholic Criticism of Children’s Literature at the Beginning of the 20th Century in France
Annie Renonciat

The Contribution of Jeanne Cappe to the Revue Littérature de Jeunesse (1949-1955/1976)
Michel Defourny


Between Evangelisation and Economy. A Profile of Averbode Publishers (1920-2000)
Rita Ghesquière

The Trinity in Educational Publishing. The Constant Factors in the History of the Dutch Catholic Publishing Houses Zwijsen and Malmberg
Karen Ghonem-Woets and Piet Moeren

The Editorial Strategies of Provincial Catholic Publishing Houses for the Young in the 19th Century in France
Michel Manson

The Gaume Press. Catholic Books for Young People during the 19th Century
Daniel Moulinet

Catholic Publishing Houses for Children in France since 1945. Editor’s Strategies and Discourse
Michèle Piquard

The Girl’s Own Paper (1880-1956). A Protestant Magazine
Mary Cadogan

Index of Persons
Notes on Contributors

Hans Heino Ewers

Rita Ghesquiere

Pat Pinsent

Rita Quaghebeur

Michel Manson

Indeed, 'Religion, Children’s Literature and Modernity in Western Europe 1750 to 2000' is groundbreaking, establishing a beachhead for more research. The lines are drawn by each author’s contribution, but the European landscape upon which they rest, demands substantial comparative perspective for which this tome is the quintessential, if not seminal watershed for this type of foray into a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary field. The individual contributions attest to this feat, even though they were published fifteen years ago.Hérubel, JP.V.M., Pub Res Q 37, 117–118 (2021).

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