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The Spanish Civil War as a Religious Tragedy

José M. Sánchez

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte


The Spanish Civil War was one of the most passionate idealogical conflicts of modern times. It was the greatest and last struggle between traditional Catholicism and liberal secularism. To many, religion became the most divisive issue of the war, the single problem that distinguished one fraction from another.
The Spanish Civil War as a Religious Tragedy is the first full-length comprehensive study of the religious dimension of the Spanish conflict. Drawing on memoirs, eye-witness accounts, the religious press of the period, and a thorough reading of secondary literature, José M. Sánchez objectively examines the events, issues, attitudes, and effects of the war and corrects the mythology that has grown up around the topic.
Especially vivid is Sánchez's account of the anticlerical fury in which nearly 7,000 clerics were killed, thousands of churches burned and destroyed, countless lay-persons assassinated, and the entire cultural ethic of Spanish Catholicism set upon an iconoclastic bloodletting worse than any other in the history of Christianity. The clergy's offering of pastoral and idealogical support to Franco's Nationalists as a response to the fury is also examined. Sánchez then focuses on the complexities of the Basques - an intensely Catholic people who made common cause with the anticlerical Republicans. He explores the Vatican's policy toward both sides, and analyzes the theological and moral controversy over the justice of the war as fought in the journals and the press, both in Spain and abroad. Finally, he investigates the controversies as they affected Catholics in France, England, and the United States, and concludes with an evaluation of the war's impact upon the religious consciousness of Spain, the Church, and the western world.

Weitere Titel von diesem Autor



Vatican, Basques, England, Catholicism, anticlerical, France, liberal secularism, General Francisco Franco