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Politics and the Catholic Church in Nicaragua

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Guerrilla-priests and liberation theology are not new phenomena in Nicaragua. Ever since the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores, Catholic Church leaders have played a major role in that country's politics. The result, John Kirk writes, is a polarized church, one with a progressive minority at loggerheads with the conservative hierarchy. Kirk sets each stage of the church-state debate in a historical continuum, then examines the forty-year period of Somocismo and the Sandinista period (1979-90) that followed. ...
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Overview

Guerrilla-priests and liberation theology are not new phenomena in Nicaragua. Ever since the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores, Catholic Church leaders have played a major role in that country's politics. The result, John Kirk writes, is a polarized church, one with a progressive minority at loggerheads with the conservative hierarchy. Kirk sets each stage of the church-state debate in a historical continuum, then examines the forty-year period of Somocismo and the Sandinista period (1979-90) that followed. This social revolution - blending nationalism, Marxism, and Catholicism - dared to be different, he claims, and accordingly it paid the price. Kirk wrote this book following three trips to Nicaragua during the 1980s, when he witnessed firsthand the social polarization occurring at the time. But the involvement of the Catholic Church in Nicaraguan politics is not exceptional, he says: "Most - if not all - religions are also encumbered with socio-political concerns that go beyond the essentially 'religious.'"
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Kirk (Latin American studies, Dalhousie Univ., Nova Scotia) presents the first scholarly study of the Church in Nicaragua during the entire ten years of the Sandinista upheaval and revolution from 1979 to 1990. He argues that the Church has always played a central role in politics there, despite its claims to the contrary. He begins by tracing the Church in Nicaragua from 1503 to 1979, contrasting the role of the conservative hierarchy and the progressive revolutionary minority in the Church during the Sandanista years. He then discusses the search for reconciliation in church-state relations. Kirk finishes with a chapter debating whether the proper role of the Church is prophetic and progressive or conservative and accommodating in revolutionary struggles. For academic and large public libraries.-- C. Robert Nixon, MLS, Lafayette, Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813011387
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 9/28/1992
  • Edition description: First
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 246
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
In Search of Stability: The Church in Nicaragua 1
1 In Search of an Identity: The Church in Nicaragua, 1503-1936 7
2 The Institutional Church under Somoza: Accommodation and Complicity (1936-1969) 33
3 From Dictatorship to Revolution: The Church's Response (1970-1979) 58
4 From Jubilation to Despair (1979-1982) 100
5 Church-State Relations at Their Nadir (1983-1985) 141
6 In Search of Reconciliation? Church-State Relations, 1985-1990 176
Prophetic Stance or Political Accomodation? 210
Notes 219
Selectcd Bibliography 229
Index 243
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