Constitutional politics and religious accommodation: Lessons from Spain

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Miley, TJ 

This article sketches the struggles over and the shifting role of Catholicism in the Spanish body politic. It begins by providing a brief overview of the deep historical ties between Catholicism and Spanish identity. It continues by recounting the dialectical process through which a serious social cleavage on the role of religion in politics emerged and percolated over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This cleavage ultimately pit a militant and reactionary brand of authoritarian Catholicism on the right against an equally militant group of secularist ideologues associated with both bourgeois-republican and revolutionary working class (mainly anarchist) political forces. Following Juan Linz, the article emphasizes the nefarious role played by constitution-makers who pursued a partisan secularizing agenda on questions of Church and state in the breakdown of democracy and tragic onset of Civil War. It then delineates the ideology and institutionalization of “national-Catholicism” under Franco, before turning to contrast republican-era constitution-making dynamics with those of the transition to democracy following Franco’s death. It concludes with a discussion of the content of post-transition conflicts over religion and politics, highlighting the constitutional resources for coping with the somehow new yet very old challenge posed by the presence of Islam.

5004 Religious Studies, 50 Philosophy and Religious Studies, 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
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Politics, Religion and Ideology
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Informa UK Limited