By Dr John Maiden
Last Friday (18 June) at Universita Ca’ Foscaria, Venice, along with scholars from Italy, France, United States and Australia, I was one of the presenters at a symposium on Charismatic Renewal and global Catholicism (full programme here). The panel to which I contributed, on global charisma, produced a fascinating discussion on the different ways of reading the origins and development of the movement.
On one hand, there is clearly an important organisational/institutional story to be told, which begins in the American Upper Midwest in 1967, and then, as Valentina Ciciliot explained, sees CCR undergo a process of ‘Romanization’, for example with the international gathering in Rome in 1975. On the other hand, when CCR is observed from the “margins” (e.g. Australia and England), the heterogeneity and “glocality” of the movement comes into clear sight. This is a movement which emerged from the late 1960s in a variety of different countries through convergences of various examples of spiritual ‘potential’ (e.g. the Legion of Mary, Cursillo, and various other sources of mysticism and communitarianism) and in response to various local contexts.
CCR remains a movement which is understudied, and this conference has helped to crystalize a range of research questions which can be advanced in the coming years. I’m very grateful to the organiser, Dr Valentina Ciciliot, for her leadership in bringing the symposium together (and in such a wonderful setting!).