Jesus, Jung, and the Charismatics : the Pecos Benedictines and visions of religious renewal
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The Catholic Charismatic Renewal, though changing the face and feel of U.S. Catholicism, has received relatively little scholarly attention. Beginning in 1967 and peaking in the mid-1970s, the Renewal brought Pentecostal practices (speaking in tongues, faith healings, prophecy, etc.) into mainstream Catholicism. This thesis seeks to explore the Renewal on the national, regional, and individual level, with particular attention to lay and religious “covenant communities.” These groups of Catholics (and sometimes Protestants) devoted themselves to spreading Pentecostal practices amongst their brethren, sponsoring retreats, authoring pamphlets, and organizing conferences. With religious communities, especially, this was a controversial practice, causing tension amongst Catholic celibates and ultimately discouraging religious involvement. To promote something, however, is often to have very clear visions about what that thing should look like. The Renewal was no exception, as covenant communities like the Word of God (Ann Arbor, MI) and the People of Praise (South Bend, IN) endorsed a particularly rigid and authoritarian version of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Clerical groups, most notably the Pecos Benedictine Monastery, advanced a different vision of the Charismatic life. Their version of the Renewal, more heavily based on inner healing and (for Pecos at least) Jungian psychology, was much looser and similar to other New Age spiritualities. At the core, those at Pecos believed in the redemption of man through Christ, whereas those in lay covenant communities tended to focus on the fall of Adam and original sin. These visions came into conflict in the structures and messages of the Renewal, which helped contribute to its decline in the 1980s and practical disappearance by the 1990s.