Jay Corrin

Professor of Social Sciences


BA History, Michigan State University
MA Asian History, University of Hawaii
PhD Modern European and British History, Boston University

Research interests: Religion and politics, especially the influence of Catholicism on political thought and actions

In 1991 he won the Peyton Richter Award for interdisciplinary teaching.

A historian interested in religion and politics—especially the influence of Catholicism on political thought and actions—Professor Corrin is the author of numerous articles and books, including G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc: The Battle against Modernity.

His most recent work titled “Reform to Revolution: SLANT and the Catholic New Left in post-Vatican II England,” which will be published by the University of Notre Dame Press.  This is the study of a revolutionary Catholic movement in response to the failure of enacting the reformist promises of Vatican Council II, governmental support for the Vietnam War, and the economic and social problems of corporate capitalism that caused considerable international turmoil in the 1960s.

He has written the Catholic Progressives in England after Vatican II book, published by the University of Notre Dame Press (2013).

“Tracing the development of progressive Catholic approaches to political and economic modernization, Catholic Progressives in England after Vatican II disputes standard interpretations of the Catholic response to democracy and modernity in the English-speaking world—particularly structures.

“Starting with the writings of Bishop Wilhelm von Ketteler of Germany, the Frenchman Frederic Ozanam, and England’s Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, whose pioneering work laid the foundation of the Catholic third way, Corrin reveals a long tradition within Roman Catholicism that championed social activism. These visionary writers were the forerunners of Pope John XXIII’s aggiornamento, a call for Catholics to broaden their historical perspectives and move beyond a static theology fixed to the past.

“By examining this often overlooked tradition, Corrin attempts to confront the perception that Catholicism in the modern age has invariably been an institution of reaction that is highly suspicious of liberalism and progressive social reform. Catholic Intellectuals and the Challenge of Democracy charts the efforts of key Catholic intellectuals, primarily in Britain and the United States, who embraced the modern world and endeavored to use the legacies of their faith to form an alternative, pluralistic path that avoided both socialist collectivism and capitalism.”

He has also written the Modernization and Revolution in China: From the Opium Wars to the Olympics with June Grasso and Michael Kort, Fourth Edition, 2009, M.E. Sharpe.

At its annual meeting in January 2004, the American Catholic Historical Association awarded Jay Corrin the American Catholic Historical Association’s John Gilmary Shea Prize for his 2002 book Catholic Intellectuals and the Challenge of Democracy.